QUOTES FROM HOPEFUL APPLICANTS
“This is a grand opportunity and don’t think I am going to let this go”
”They say women don’t deserve to go to school. Now I know we women have some value, thanks to Spirit. I want to demonstrate to guys in the future that we can also make it, thanks to the foundation.”
“Hope is a small light on a dark street of poverty”
“I want to be a professional. I want to help my family. I want to be somebody.”
Education is the only way out of poverty, but it is too costly for most.
We have applicants from a wide range of economic levels. Our screening process targets those who do not have alternatives.
THEY NEED YOU TO MAKE THEIR HOPES A REALITY
Once very shy, Ilsy was interviewed by the local cable TV station about her experience in the Spirit program. She was incredibly clear and concise, but her comments were awesome. She explained that she was learning a lot in her classes (systems engineering), but that she had also learned so much more about being a competent honorable woman.
After being part of an evening honoring Director Pam and Spirit, Cesia told me she had learned so much about being a responsible, community concerned adult and she wanted to be like me when she “grew up”. She was enchanted when I suggested she might like to carry on the foundation work as part of the Guatemala board in the future.She now eagerly participates in training with interviews and application analysis.
Part of our goal is to broaden the girls’ experience and knowledge, their self confidence, self worth and a sense of value
- The birth gender: (female) devaluation and the girl’s interest in having fewer babies, prompted discussions about conception, fertility cycle and who determines child gender. None of our girls had ever been taught anything about the fertility cycle or baby gender. I also took the cycle beads to some 150 villagers and will continue to do this, as invited.
- Cultural restraints: each girl was given a Spanish copy of Chiquita’s Cocoon by Betina Flores. It is written for latina women whose culture keeps them down. Each girl had to do a report on what they got out of the book. The variety of responses was interesting, from the control of the church, male machismo, to their value, dependent upon giving birth to male versus female babies.
- Domestic Violence: one of the becadas was from a very violent home where family members were beaten regularly. Each girl was given information which I explain was to help them avoid getting into abusive relationships in the future. The information was about the signs and symptoms of domestic abuse. I asked them to write a book report on what they had learned. They were very interested in the subject and several mentioned they knew someone who was abusing or abused. I did not ask who.
- Personal safety: two applicants were held up near the central park, prompting this unit of personal safety. We are now dealing with multiple assassinations along one of our bus routes.
Subsequent trips will present more relevant topics.
Hilda said when she joined SPIRIT, it was a scholarship. Now SPIRIT is a program