Public Education in Guatemala
Public education in Guatemala is supposed to be free, but in reality uniforms, books, enrollment fees and supplies mean that many children do not have the opportunity to attend even primary school. At Star of Hope one of our high priorites is education. For this purpose we have teamed with Tob'anik as a way to reach these marginalized children and give them hope for the future.
Convinced that education is the best method by which to improve the country and provide its children with a better future, the mission of Tob'anik is to help as many children as possible in and around the city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to attend public school. We hope to aid in the development of a sense of hope and self-worth among the youth by financing their education, providing them with basic resources, and encouraging them to become contributing members of society.
As of 2010, the World Bank estimated that 75% of Guatemalans fell below the national poverty line. The average annual income per family in Guatemala is 2,600 - 2,800 USD, though many do not earn this much. The average family in the city of Quetzaltenango has five children, making public school education, which averages $150 and $300 per year, unaffordable for many.
Tob'anik means "to help" in Quiche, the language of Guatemala's largest ethnic indian group. Star of Hope has partnered with Tob'anik USA and Tob'anik Germany to sponsor Guatemalan children attending school. Tob'anik was begun by former students of the Spanish School Juan Sisay, located in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
The school has been supporting the education of local children since it was founded in 1991. However, the economic recession has meant that today the number of children in the program has dropped significantly from several years ago. Families who were previously accepted to the program have been denied financial aid due to a lack of funds. In 2011, 40 children were sponsored with funds from Tob'anik Germany's donors and with a portion of the modest profits of Juan Sisay Spanish School.
You may learn more about Tob'anik USA at their website.
An Opportunity to Help a Child in Need
Tob'anik USA seeks to grow the project by expanding the donor base to the US and other countries around the world, allowing up to 80 children, who would otherwise not be able to attend school, to receive education and basic nutrition.
Please help us reach our goal of increasing the number of children we can help and of providing more support to the children already in the program.
When you make a donation, you are helping to provide:
-mandatory school uniforms
-socks and shoes
-powdered milk, vitamins and other basic nutritional essentials
-program reunion dinners, held four times a year, to provide motivation, support and solidarity for children and their families