THE SPIRIT PLEDGE TO SPONSORS:
All of the scholarship money goes to the girls.
There are no USA overheads, other than the annual service cost of this website. In Guatemala, we pay our housemother/cook/guard and a small stipend for one of our girls to do the bill paying and accounting.
A MAJOR OBJECTIVE IS TO INVESTIGATE THE HOMES & FAMILIES
This has become easier working with our middle school board director and FundAP, who prescreen the applicants for financial need and academic ability.
The mothers have been in favor of education for their daughters. This has not always been true for the fathers who want the income from their undereducated and undervalued daughters. Discussing economics has helped to change this attitude: do they want to retire on their daughter’s 700 quetzales ($88) per month or Q5000 plus/ $625? Their daughter gains value as education has value to the family. This will probably always be a problem for many of the extreme poor, especially with the alcohol problem.
Determine the family’s economic situation. Most families are experiencing dropping incomes. Spirit needs to know what we need to do to support the scholarship girl to keep her in school. As a result, we have basic scholarship amounts for functioning families and additional amounts for the extreme poor which will cover some or all of the food, personal monthly expenses, and in the case of distant applicants, the additional transportation.
Our objective is to eliminate families who can afford education, but prefer their girls be a part of Spirit or want us to pay for their daughter’s education. We need to determine the level of support needed.
A single room to several tiny rooms. Dirt floors to cement floors. Cement block to a few scraps of lumber and sheet metal. NO interior plumbing, sporadic running village water or a well.
OUR FAMILIES’ INCOMES
Range from $40 to $250 with 3-12 family members living together.
80% of Guatemalans suffer from malnutrition. Ours families are in this group
- They lose infant teeth by 4 years and adult teeth by 15 years
- It is a huge family sacrifice to attend middle school
- They have not had school books
- Bus fare to school costs up to $2.25 per day local, $10 for distant students (they live in the house 24/7).
- Parents and older siblings earn $2.50-4.00 per day, when they can work.
- There is no job security, rarely medical work benefits and very little social security to a few.
- I find most things cost more than in the USA. For example January 2013 gas at $4.65 per gallon, Chicken $1.45 per pound. A pizza costs $17
GODPARENT/GODFAMILY or GODGROUP ANGELS
The daughters of the poor are often regretted because they are girls. The Spirit girls need love, hope, opportunity and respect. One of the ways we do that is through scholarships. When they are chosen by an American Angel, they see themselves differently. The girls write it is wonderful to know that someone, without knowing them or having the obligation, cares and believes in them. Your gift has tremendous impact in validating young women who often grow up hearing how worthless they are. If you believe in them, they can start believing in themselves.
We hope you will have a desire to make a difference in the life of a girl and provide a scholarship for one today.
HOW MUCH DOES THE SCHOLARSHIP COST?
100% of your scholarship money goes to the girls, not corporate structure.
This is our pledge to you!
We always closely calculate the upcoming year’s cost to provide the scholarship basics.
High School scholarships
Include all school fees, a daily and work practice uniform, ESL classes, equipment and materials, and some transportation. They travel 5-6 times per week.
In January 2013, after settling the budget, we got two nasty surprises:
1. Bus fares soared due to the number of extortion racket bus driver murders.
2. The government built the new High School in the country, requiring another bus.
While figures can not be definite for 2014, until much later in the year, we estimate the scholarship will increase to $525-550.
include school fees, ESL class, materials and equipment, some transportation based on family need. They come in to town twice weekly.
We hope to be able to keep the scholarship at the current level of $825, possibly up to $900 for 2014.
We would like to have a 3 year commitment for high school and 5-6 year commitment for university from our Godparent Angels to allow our girls to complete their education.
Girls attend 5-6 years of classes, plus doing their thesis. They now have the option of taking half their master’s level classes in place of the thesis. All scholarships are 100% tax deductible.
The cost of a scholarship also depends on the US dollar and inflation in Guatemala. As we try not to overcharge sponsors, we likewise cannot subsidize basic school costs. Therefore, in the future, we will continue to pass on currency and cost changes to the godparents.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS PROVIDED BY OTHER FUNDRAISING
Computers and computer internet access. Our goal to have a laptop in each home has been met.
Dental care for your girl and other medical care as needed.
AM I THE ONLY SPONSOR FOR “MY” GIRL?
Yes, Spirit assigns only one sponsor per girl. Godparents can be individuals, families or groups that you organize. You will receive monthly emails from your girl. This will allow you to share in your girl’s dreams and successes, as well as reinforce their need to learn English.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Giving a gift where most needed is a great way to provide help to some of the world’s most vulnerable girls. Your gift to Spirit Education Foundation’s general fund allows us to respond to additional needs of our girls- English reading books, computers and computer programs, medical care, shipping for donations of clothes, shoes, dental supplies, etc.
Send an amount that is right for you and help us change the future of our girls.