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As we bid farewell to Brien Ashdown, we're delighted to welcome our new US Executive Director Octavio Hinojosa Mier.
Food has a decisive influence on the process of human development. In childhood, physical and intellectual changes are massively influenced by the quality of nutrition received. The reality of nutrition in Guatemala means that our Nutrition Program is a vital part of enabling students to achieve all their goals.
During the process of reopening the School of Hope, our incredible Technical Director Nancy impressed different authorities in the education sector of Guatemala, leading to our wonderful school being nominated for the work we do every day.
Discover how our Saturday School program is aiding our high-schoolers to combat the stress of missing out on face-to-face schooling over the last year.
Some of our Further Education Students, in high school, university & vocational courses, started a specialized manicurist & nail technician course in the beginning of March. This workshop will provide them the skills to generate income immediately, contributing to their families financially while continuing with their studies. For EFTC it is important that our students have a diverse skill set, that allows them to continue to work towards and meet their goals while becoming more economically stable.
Ximena chose to be a teacher because from a young age she realized that learned differently from other students and she needed someone who understood her. Learn how her career has led her to be that person for her students.
We are so delighted that we have official permission from the Guatemalan authorities to re-open the School of Hope very soon.
Each of our students has a story to tell... in this interview Adolfo, our 3rd entrepreneur, shares his journey and how it led him to turn his dream of an ice cream shop into a reality.
In the first three months of 2021, many things have been accomplished at Education For The Children Foundation.
All of our volunteers are amazing, but Sonja and her dedication to finish what she started, amidst a global pandemic really embodies everything that EFTC stands for. In March 2020, as Covid-19 began to hit Guatemala, all our volunteers made their way home apart from Sonja. Now back at home, in the lead up to World EFTC Day, we talked to Sonja about reflections on her time at The School of Hope and why she chose to stay.
As we prepare for World EFTC Day on March 16 we are celebrating our supporters around the globe. Christina Jackson's story of support for EFTC was due to a surprising find in her suburban hometown that caused her to reminisce about her time in Guatemala in the 1970s.
Over the last 16 years visitors and volunteers have brought their unique skills and experiences to enrich The School of Hope. Since March 2020, with the school closed, we have been unable to welcome volunteers. As we reorganize to start a hybrid programme, we are ensuring opportunities to participate, in line with Guatemalan government regulations and the Foundation’s safety protocols.
One positive from the last year is seeing our staff members stepping out of the offices, classrooms, and the school kitchen to take on completely new projects and responsibilities.
After the recent success of Sara's volcano challenge, our school chef Erick will be EFTC's next challenger. Along with three friends from his cycling group Erick will compete in a race on February 21st to raise money for the school and students he works so hard to support!
Teaching remotely in a pandemic is a tough job but our three new teachers have hit the ground running with fresh ideas to keep students engaged. We are delighted to welcome them to the School of Hope.
Our new Communications Coordinator Tephie has also recently joined the Foundation team in Guatemala, working closely with our team in the UK to bring you the latest news from the school.
Welcome to the EFTC family!
If there is one thing the last year has taught us, it is to adapt quickly to change. Our team in Guatemala were busy preparing to welcome students back to the School of Hope this January when last Thursday the government announced last minute that all schools will remain closed until March/ April at the earliest.
The main task for the foundation right now is to raise essential funds and prepare plans and budgets for a range of eventualities. Funds must be spent creatively and meaningfully to ensure the best outcomes for our students in 2021 and beyond the Covid crisis.
Help us equip our older students with technology so they can access online learning in 2021.
Before the School of Hope closes for the break, our team in Guatemala have been busy spreading much needed festive joy!
We recently caught up with one of our further education students, Heidy. Heidy is 22 years old and has recently found a job working in cleaning and maintenance for a local factory. She works long 12 hour days and still manages to find time to study. Heidy used to think that because she was a girl she would never have the chance to go to school. Now she is studying clinical psychology at university with the hope of helping other young women like her.
Help us deck the halls of The School of Hope this festive season. Throughout the month of December we will be opening 12 doors into the everyday life of our students and staff. You’ll meet people like Celena EFTC graduate and school nurse , our amazing kitchen staff, Michelle school psychologist, local bus drivers and of course, our students themselves.
Each year the School of Hope graduating class undergoes an in-depth high school preparation program, this year was no different despite the challenges. Find out how are 9th graders are celebrating and preparing for the future.
The academic year in Guatemala runs from January to October, which means we have just one month left of the 2020 school year! Read the latest updates from the School of Hope including our new Covid-safe meeting spaces.
A quick update on our 7th hamper distribution. As the School of Hope is now partially open for staff, parents were able to safely collect their hampers in-person and hand in their children's homework tasks.
Learn how university students Indira and Cristian are transforming The School of Hope's white walls during lockdown.
“An entrepreneur is someone that thinks bigger. They look at the world and don't just simply ask the question "why?" but "why not” ”
We got a chance to “speak” (virtually and mainly in written format!) to Ty New from Project Apoyo about our first collaborative Small-Business grant.
Sara Miller, our Project Director in Guatemala and Brien Ashdown, our US Executive Director have just published an article on the School of Hope’s response to COVID in the journal of Local Development and Society.
Read the first installment about EFTC and Project Apoyo´s collaborative Small-Business Grant program. Awarded to Design & Fashion graduate, Kimberly. Who is showing that even in the middle of a pandemic with a lot of planning, dedication and some support success is within her reach.
It is hard to believe that the School of Hope has been closed for 6 months now. Although cases of COVID-19 in Guatemala continue to rise, (total cases = 55,270 including 2,168 confirmed deaths) the Guatemalan government is beginning to open things up again with social distancing measures in place. Read here for the latest update on our 6th hamper distribution.
Discover how students in our Further Education programme are getting to grips with completing their education during Guatemala´s lockdown.
Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Guatemala with 23,248 confirmed and 947 deaths confirmed as of Monday 6 July. The School of Hope remains closed and we remain committed to the nourishment, well-being and education of our students. Our 5th emergency hamper distribution is vital to give our families what they need to endure this ongoing crisis.
As The School of Hope remains closed, we have to constantly adapt and change our methods to provide both practical and emotional support to our families. Read about how our social department have adapted how they work to conduct a telephone survey with all of our families to determine need and our supporting strategy.
During lockdown Laura Mitchell, a previous volunteer intern with EFTC took on the incredible challenge of completing 3.5 marathons on foot and bike! So far she has raised an amazing £740 for the School of Hope. These funds will help us to continue to provide essential support to students and their families throughout this crisis.
We were delighted to hear that Emma Honey, one of our recent interns has received the Outstanding Engaged Student Scholarship from Hobart and William Smith College’s 12th annual Community Engaged Scholarship Forum. Emma journeyed from Geneva NY, USA to volunteer as a teaching assistant in the summer of 2019. Here she reflects on her time with her students at The School of Hope.
Covid-19 cases in Guatemala have been steadily rising causing President Alejandro Giammattei to extend the evening curfew and implement nationwide weekend lockdowns from Friday 15th May. Find out how we're meeting the challenge to distribute both food, hygiene supplies and homework to ensure all our students remain healthy and learning.
In support of Mental Health Awareness Week, our head of Social Services, Aracely, tells us how the team in Guatemala are continuing to provide mental health support during quarantine. Aracely started working for EFTC in 2007 as our first ever school psychologist. Now she oversees our Social Services Department, who are currently working hard from home to help our families through this crisis.
Patty Castillo, our Head of Scholarship at the School of Hope, shares how her team is supporting our scholarship students and the initiative and resilience of these young people as they hope to progress to university
Ever since the foundation was established back in 2003, we’ve pushed the boundaries to better serve our student community. Part of that ethos is being outward looking and collaborative wherever we can. There’s huge benefits to establishing long term partnerships.
Our 3rd food hamper distribution went eggcellently. Excuse the pun, but it’s got to that point in lockdown:) Our wonderful chef Erick steps up once again. He’s becoming a hero on the frontline, king of distribution and egg-juggling multitasker. Read his story of what it’s like to be coordinating through all of the crazy right-now.
Our mission was to feed our families and we did just that. Foundation Director, Sara Miller, updates us on the herculean effort it took to get all of the life-nourishing food out to our families before the COVID-19 related curfew.
Tough times call for immediate action. Our families income is coming to a screeching halt and we must step in and change our focus from educator to provider.
Our Education Director Kelsey Carlton updates us on how the School of Hope's teachers are getting to grips with providing support to our students during lockdown.
We live in unprecedented times that are changing minute by minute. Here's an overview of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our students and staff at The School of Hope and at our Foundation offices in the USA
In the lead up to World EFTC Day on Thursday 19 March we're asking all of our supporters to donate their dinners to fund our 2020 nutrition shortfall budget.
In the lead up to World EFTC Day on Thursday 19 March, we’re sharing our supporters' stories of how they have challenged themselves for the School of Hope. Here, David Wilson from our longtime corporate partner HD Decisions, tells us what motivated him to take on the Tonne Run Challenge.
Hi, I’m Patricia Castillo, Further Education Director at The School of Hope. I’ve been with the school for fifteen years and it is a delight when I see students progress to higher education. Five of our students are pursuing their dreams to gain a technical qualification at university and build a better life for themselves and their families.
Our school has grown tenfold since its inception sixteen years ago. This is both inspiring and challenging as we strive to meet our ever increasing costs. This year, sterling continues to suffer from uncertainty and is at levels significantly below the average since we have been active in Guatemala.
My first involvement with Education for the Children (EFTC) started over four years ago, when my friend Louise, Sponsor coordinator at the School of Hope in Jocotenango, Guatemala, introduced me to the organisation. She told me all about the fantastic work that EFTC is doing and asked me if I’d like to get involved by sponsoring a child. His name is Rafael and from the first photos of the School of Hope, my life has been enriched by the children, staff, volunteers, sponsors and everyone I have met.
I really recommend it to anyone interested in the nonprofit world, Central America, education issues and/or improving their Spanish. It’s so hard to leave once you have made a connection with the pupils, staff and the country but you will come away feeling empowered and ready to spread the word of EFTC and continue making a difference wherever you find yourself next.
Mrs Bibi has been working at The School of Hope for 9 years. She has always worked with the kindergarten children and has nothing but praise for the school and how it has grown over the years.
Carla had the opportunity to run in the 2019 London Marathon for the Education for the Children Foundation and the School of Hope in Jocotenango, Guatemala.
On Thursday 7th March our wonderful network of supporters came together to celebrate World EFTC Day!
From dinner parties to a ping pong challenge, scavenger hunts, Facebook fundraisers, and bake sales, every corner of the globe hosted brilliant events to raise vital funds and celebrate the global EFTC community!
Yet again a ceremony of mixed emotions. Our graduations are a time for both celebration and reflection.
The School of Hope served it’s millionth meal today to our well deserving students, with the support of Greenyard UK.
Celena has became the first nurse the school has ever had. She is also a fantastic example of perseverance, as Celena began her journey with the Foundation almost 10 years ago, when she enrolled in our middle school!
Thanks to the generosity of UEFA the construction of EFTC´s all-weather Sports Pitch has been made possible. This Sports Pitch has been a dream of the Foundation for years and with the amazing donation of £32k from UEFA at the start of 2017 this dream has become a reality.
Guatemalan Ambassador to the UK, Señor Acisclo Valladares Molina helps raise funds for the School of Hope at this year's annual ball.
Thanks to the amazing supporters of the fantastic NGO, Wheels4Life, this year we received 50 new bicycles for our students.
“Even by helping only one person with their education, here in Guatemala, we are making a real difference”. Carlos Escalante.
Each year EFTC receives over 150 volunteers. They vary in age, language, and nationality. Many of them are hopeful college students who come to trade textbooks for concrete experiences. While others are retired individuals happy for a chance to give back now that they have the time and opportunity.
The task for our Youth Empowerment and Leadership Coordinator, Ana Lara, is to motivate our older students, to ‘empower’ them and teach them the skills that will help them overcome the many obstacles they will face in life.
For me going to Antigua Guatemala to volunteer at Proyecto La Esperanza was literally a life changing experience.
Most children grow up with a constant reminder from their parents: Drink your milk. This is not nearly the case of our children at The School of Hope, but you can help change that.
Paul Sanders, our guest blogger, taught maths for a very long time in the UK and this year he came down to Guatemala to meet his sponsor kids for the 1st time! He also worked on training math teachers and also worked closely with our junior high English teacher.
The objective of the home visits is to be able to monitor the current situation of each and every family our foundation supports. We assess their financial situation, the families health and the general environment of our students.
Aura is one of our wonderful teachers at the School of Hope, working tirelessly to educate students from the same underprivileged background she once belonged to. We're so proud of Aura, who recently graduated from university, becoming a licensed teacher from kindergarten to high school!
José Ángel is one of our young entrepreneurs, a hard working student of Business Administration who runs his own Internet Cafe and dreams of becoming a successful businessman.
Lauren Martin, our guest blogger, is a Spanish and International Relations student from Scotland who chose to volunteer at the School of Hope for seven months as part of her Year Abroad, as she wanted to spend her time doing something worthwhile that would also help her gain experience in the NGO and development sector.
Even though Guatemala is very rich in natural resources, food availability is a serious problem. 24% of children under five are underweight and 46% suffer stunted growth. But this year, a new chef is helping us fight malnutrition at the School of Hope.
A sponsor is more than someone far away supporting a child’s education, they can become mentors and friends, like Dave, Debbie and Fitzy, long-time EFTC supporters and child sponsors at the School of Hope.
A new Reading programme was implemented this year at the School of Hope to encourage children's love of books and help them dream big. We talked to Jayra, our Reading teacher, to find out more.
Meet Susana and Ana Laura, our Further Education team! The program is meant for students who graduate from the School of Hope and want to continue their education in high school and university, supporting them financially, emotionally and in their search for employment.
Melvin, a 22 year old who's been with EFTC since 5th grade, is in his third year of Med School at one of the most prestigious universities in Guatemala. He's dreamed of being a doctor since he was five, and for that he commutes to the city everyday, spending up to 4 hours to get there and back.
Sophie McKee is our current Foundation Director and one of EFTC’s founders, but the first time she came to Guatemala was 13 years ago, right after finishing High School, and what she discovered changed her life forever.
Tam Winter, a volunteer from the UK, shares his experience at the School of Hope and how he contributed to the school's programme.
“Never say you can't do something! If you set your mind to it you can do it. It's hard work but it will pay off in the end.” These are the words of Instagram health and fitness blogger JoLo, known to thousands as a young woman with a highly toned body and a love of good food.
Hide My Ass!, a UK based internet company, has been instrumental in providing access to the internet to disadvantaged children in Guatemala, therefore creating better employment opportunities for them in the future.
Far from Jocotenango, where great black clouds are threatening a downpour at any moment, experts in global water issues gathered in Stockholm for World Water Week, August 23rd-28th.
Every time I heard my name from the other side of the playground and someone rushed towards me, wrapped a bracelet around my wrist or tattooed my arms all over with pen "te amo's" (I love you), I grew a little bit more attached to the wonderful children at the School of Hope.
This year, for the second time, the School of Hope received the Christmas boxes of love thanks to the help of a wonderful organisation called Cajas del Amor.
The IT campaign ran on Indiegogo in August was 100% funded! We were able to purchase 14 reconditioned computers to equip a study room for our 120 Scholarship students, as well as 20 flat screens to replace the old deep screen monitors here at the School of Hope. All this happened thanks to your support!
Amy Holly, who has been with EFTC for 6 years, is leaving the Foundation in August to pursue other opportunities. Before she leaves, she is doing one final challenge for the Foundation. Amy will be living on 6 Quetzales a day ($0.75) for a week - which is how much an average EFTC beneficiary lives on.
Aracely Chajon (Head of Social Support at The School of Hope) -Working at Education for the Children Foundation means a lot to me; being part of the change in my country represents the opportunity to build a better future for the current generation in Guatemala.
Taking a six month sabbatical from her job in London in the summer of 2012 was both daunting and invigorating for Rosanne.
We put your burning questions to Cindy, our first graduate to become a child sponsor, at The School of Hope in Guatemala.
My name is Evelyn Azucena. I’m 14 years old. My older brother is a scholarship student and I have two younger brothers at the school too; Kevin and Juan Carlos. I don’t have any sisters.
The buzz was palpable. Arriving at the school for opening day, I walked into scenes of eager preparation: PA being tested, key speakers rehearsing, all the scurry of preparation and anticipation.