By Heather Radu-
You can feel it in the air … School is back in full swing. The big yellow buses are on the road, high school sports are in the paper, and no matter your age or stage in life you’re probably being invited to see children perform in all kinds of activities.
As I got my own children ready for the new school year, I was thinking about our little ones at Dorie’s Promise. I asked Alej Diaz, our director, to give me an update on the education strategy we introduced to you last year.
The results of what we are doing will warm your heart and remind you of how you are part of something special in Guatemala.
You may remember Ana. She is the third of five siblings who came to live with us in 2009. When Ana arrived at our home, her sadness and uncertainty were undeniable. You can tell by the picture of Ana and her siblings when they arrived.
Ana could not enroll in the public school system in Guatemala because she did not have the proper legal documentation required. To try to make up for the school she was missing, she began a home schooling program at the age of 7. Our team at Dorie’s Promise worked diligently with her to get her ready for school.
When she was finally able to enroll in kindergarten, it was difficult for her. She was older than the other children, and she struggled to adapt and make friends.
I remember her saying one time, “I cannot do it.” And it broke my heart. Alej and I and the whole team in Guatemala prayed for her and asked God to change things for Ana.
Her frustration with school continued. Our onsite teachers were always helping her get her homework finished on time. Imagine it … a little girl floundering in a school system that was setting her up for a pattern of failure.
Today things are different. When we didn’t know exactly what to do to help, God stepped in and took over.
Ana started attending El Shaddai last year. The opportunity to partner with the school has been a Godsend for our team — and even more than that for our children. Your giving and prayers have changed things in Ana’s life.
Our staff members will tell you that where they saw frustration they now see unmatched effort. Where they saw a pattern of negativity, they now see Ana growing into a thriving young child. She is motivated to learn. She is excited about her future!
Now Ana says, “I love my school. They teach us about God. I like going there every day. The teachers are nice to me. I have learned so many things. And my favorite subject is English.”
What a change! Thank you for praying and giving to make private education possible for so many of our school-aged children. Because of what we did TOGETHER last year, our children have the privilege of receiving an exceptional education.
Today I want to ask you to join me again. The school year in Guatemala runs from January to October. We currently have 18 children attending.
Twelve of these 18 have been tested and accepted into El Shaddai. We have found other private school options for the remaining six children who have significant academic challenges, preventing them from attending El Shaddai at this time.
The average cost of sending each child to a private school is $1,500 per year. This amount covers tuition, books, uniforms, afterschool activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation.
Imagine being able to give your child a life-changing private education for only $125 per month.
The total cost for all 18 children to attend private school for the 2013 school year is $27,000. So far we have commitments of $6,900 — which covers the cost of about five of our children.
As a result, we need to raise $21,100 so that 13 more children can have the opportunity to receive the education they need and deserve this coming January!
Please help us raise $21,100 before December 31, 2013, so our children can be given the gift of a private education this Christmas.
I don’t know what you could give between now and the end of the year. My job is to simply ask that you give — and to do so with a joyful heart. Every gift matters as we work to make sure the children in our care are given an exceptional education.
You may be able to give $1,500 or $750. Maybe $125, $75, or $50 is more within your budget. Whatever that amount is, I want to ask you to give it today. Together, let’s give our children the opportunity to grow spiritually and academically through private Christian education.
Thank you again for all your prayers and support. Thank you for telling your friends and family about Dorie’s Promise and the work we are doing at Forever Changed International. May God richly bless you for all that you do!
P.S. Think back to when school was brand-new. When the first day there seemed like the whole world was changing. Many children face school, not as a hopeful and exciting time, but as a frightening and uncertain time. But together, we can give our children at Dorie’s Promise something different….