Education Really is the Gift That Lasts Lifetimes
Xela AID understands that education is the first step towards long-term, positive change. Our Work-Study Scholarship Program matches sponsors with children in the rural community of San Martin Chiquito, Guatemala, who wish to attend school and are willing to work in exchange for assistance. Younger children in the program (approximately age 6-14) "work" by keeping their grades at an average of 70 percent, while children (approximately 15-22) receiving a monthly stipend work a set number of hours each week tutoring younger children, working in one of Xela AID's computer labs, or working in Xela AID's clinic.
We call our Xela AID Work-Study Program Sponsors Xela AID "Angels." This is because your contribution is SO important to a child's future that you are very much like a guardian angel in that child's life! Your annual contribution to Xela AID's Work-Study Program goes directly to the student you sponsor, and immediately brings hope for a new future. We have often seen children burst into tears of joy when they learn they have been sponsored, and we most often see their resolve to stay in school grow and their grades improve!
The monies from your gift are hand-delivered to each child and their parent or guardian quarterly or monthly, depending on the grade level of your student. Your gift goes to pay for tuition, books, and other school supplies. It also assists the family with other necessary purchases such as shoes, sweaters or jackets. Ten percent of your contribution covers the cost of doctor's visits for your student and their family, access to our Study Center and tutoring services, and our Internet-powered Computer Lab.
There are four categories of sponsorship depending on the grade level of your student: Preschool, Primary School, Middle School, Technical School, and College. You are welcome to sponsor a child in any category and continue your support through college. You may also choose to sponsor students only within one certain category and so as your student moves into a new category we will attempt to find new sponsors for them.
> Preschool $375 annually (supports our preschools with a small stipend to parents quarterly)
> Primary and Middle School $375 annually (distributed quarterly)
> Technical School $600 annually (distributed monthly)
> College $1200 annually (distributed monthly)
Each Work-Study student and parent or guardian signs a contract when they join the program, committing to a number of requirements such as attending school, seeking help at Xela AID's Study Center if needed, and other pledges aimed at helping them be successful in school. Each student is required to provide Xela AID with a copy of their most recent school transcript to remain in the program. If a child falls below a 60% grade average in four main courses (language, math, science, and social studies), they understand that they are on probation and will not receive a distribution until the average is raised. A Xela AID representative meets with each child several times a year to try to identify problems early and help avoid the necessity of probation. A child who has been on probation and raises their average to the minimum by the next distribution receives all funds.
We regret that a child who is unable to raise his or her average within six months will be dropped from the program. This is necessary to incent children to make the necessary effort to achieve, and also, to make room in the program for children who are truly devoted to meeting their educational goals.
OUTCOMES AT A GLANCE
Xela AID arrived in the San Martin Sacatepequez region in 1992.
> 1992 - The average child entered school at age 6, and left at age 9.
> Today - Xela AID Work-Study students typically enter the program at 6, and leave between age 16 and 18!
Outcome: Xela AID's Work-Study Program increased the number of years the average child is in school from just 3 years to 11!
> 1992 - Only 2% of all children in school were girls.
> Today – 52-54% of Xela AID Work-Students are girls.
Outcome: Xela AID's Work Study Program increased the percentage of girls in the program from just 2% to more than half!
> 1992 - It was estimated that in San Martín Chiquito, only 1 in 30 children (3.3%) completed schooling through age 16.
> Today, in Xela AID's Work-Study program, more than 90% of our students stick with us through age 16, and 100% are literate when they leave the program. We continue to work to bridge more of our children into technical schools and college, and will do so with your support!
Outcome: Xela AID's Work-Study Program has vastly outperformed the norm, with 90% if its students staying in school through age 16 vs. just 3.3% without assistance, and 100% literacy vs. 40%* in the general populace (*WHO 2013 report).
> 1992 - There were NO college graduates in San Martín Chiquito.
> Today, there are 18 college graduates, with a dozen more in college or on a college track. Five of those are young women(a huge step for this community!).
Outcome: We've not only produced San Martín Chiquito's FIRST college graduates, but we've only just begun. There are more than EIGHTY children now sponsored and in school, following in the footsteps of these determined children!
Sponsoring a Child
Use the link at the top of this page if you are ready to Sponsor a Child. If you have additional questions, contact our local Program Director at Elena@LocalHope.org . Once you become an “Angel,” we will send you a Work-Study Program Welcome Pack telling you a bit more about the program. It's as easy as that!
You Can Visit Your Sponsored Child - You are welcome join us on one of our Service Trips that are organized each year where you can meet your student in person. The students will often ask if their padrino or padrina has come to vist, and they are eager to greet and welcome you in person. Your support (financial AND emotional) means the world to them!
Sending Gifts - You are welcome to send a gift to your student for birthdays or holidays. Instructions on how to do that will be included in your Welcome Pack, along with additional information.
The philosopher Kuan Chung wrote:
"If you plan for a year; plant a seed. If for ten years, plant a tree.
If for a hundred years, teach the people.
When you sow a seed once, you will reap a single harvest.
When you teach the people, you will reap a hundred harvests."
A Xela AID Work-Study Sponsorship is a gift that reaps a hundred harvests, since study after study shows that those who are educated also educate their children, breaking the cycle of poverty. Thank you for considering becoming a Xela AID Angel and positively impacting the life of a child NOW, and their children in the future!