EFTC has been supporting educational programs since 2003 in Guatemala. In 2005, we opened the doors of our very own School of Hope that supports over 650 students in Jocotenango.
Over 475 students now attend the School from Kindergarten through 9th grade and 180 are studying at Further Education High Schools and Universities through our Scholarship Program.
At the School of Hope, our students get a well-rounded education with a special emphasis on English, Technology, Literacy and Life Skills, which we believe are fundamental for success in the world of work. While our School follows the Guatemalan National Curriculum, we work hard to develop new strategies and methods that will raise the quality and standards of our programs.
The charity is the first in Guatemala to offer a fully bilingual program. In 2013, the school launched its Bilingual Program, with intensive English lessons that give students the best skills to get a good job.
In Guatemala, 24% of children under five are underweight and 46% suffer stunted growth because of malnutrition. Also, there are around a million families living without access to clean drinking water.
Our Food program provides two meals a day, which give the children all the energy they need to be able to learn and play. Many of our students receive little food at home, so healthy and nutritious school meals are vital to the wellbeing of these children; not only do they help with physical development, they also help them stay focused at school and reach their potential.
Due to our water filter program, 95% of our families have water filters at home. Prior to our campaign, none of the families we worked with had access to safe water. The water they drank and cooked with was dangerously contaminated and, as a result, the children were frequently ill and absent from classes.
Healthcare and medicines are inaccessible and too expensive for the families we work with so we provide free healthcare through partnerships with local non-profit health centers. Visiting professionals administer regular health checks to ensure that all our children are well.
Students and their families receive healthcare essentials at the school, from toothbrushes to glasses, medicine and life-saving operations. Workshops also help them gain a better understanding of health and hygiene.
We also have school psychologists who work with our most vulnerable children to overcome obstacles such as abuse, abandonment and neglect.
The conditions our students live in are very difficult. Houses usually have loose sheets of corrugated metal for walls and either mud or concrete floors: families sleep cramped together in shared beds. Often, water seeps or floods into our students' homes during rainy season. Many families live on steep hillsides; at risk of damage from landslides and erosion.
Thanks to kind donations and the hard work of volunteers, EFTC has helped fix and rebuild many homes to provide a safe and dry place for our families.
The Foundation House
EFTC runs a house that offers refuge to our most vulnerable families. The house has opened its doors to orphans, students or relatives that are in poor health, are prevented from living in their homes for legal reasons, their homes have been destroyed by natural causes, they have been evicted, etc.
Since 2008, over 50 students and their families have lived in the Foundation House.
In Guatemala, only 10% of students graduate high school. That's why we created the Further Education Program, which provides School of Hope graduates with the opportunity to continue their education by giving them a scholarship to move on to higher education, from high school through university.
While scholarships support students financially, the Further Education Team supports students emotionally and academically, making sure they don’t drop out by motivating them through workshops and giving them vocational guidance and career advice. They also work on students' leadership and life skills and assist them in finding work placement.