"Thank you for allowing me to be somebody in life."
"I promise to make the most of this help."
"My family and I are very grateful."
"Thanks to your support, I am shaping my future that I have ahead of me, your help has been very useful in my life, you will always be present in my mind and heart."
"Your help has already been a great blessing to my life, and because of this, I will be able to make many goals in my life with the help of God and you."
"I always pray to God for you, that you will always be well."
These are just a few words from our sponsored students to their sponsors.
According to the Global Education Fund, 35% of children in Guatemala are not enrolled in secondary education, only 59% complete lower secondary education (9th grade), and 18% are enrolled in higher education.
"With more than half the population living below the poverty line, many children – especially rural and indigenous children – are forced to drop out of school to help support their families or because they are unable to afford the cost of uniforms, books, supplies and transportation. In many poor communities, school fees for tuition, textbooks, uniforms and supplies easily consume a substantial percentage of a poor family’s income and result in high drop out from school. Dropout rates are high, especially for girls. Girls particularly are expected to take care of siblings, leave school to help support their family or get married early.” 1
We saw this happening all too often in Piedra Parada, the community near the city dump. Teens would either never continue onto school after sixth grade, or they would start middle school and then drop out because their families could not afford the school expenses.
We knew, however, that with a little bit of help, these teens could complete their schooling, gain better jobs, help their family, and end this cycle of generational poverty.
In 2015, we formed Project VALOR, a sponsorship program that gives the children and teens living in the communities surrounding the city garbage dump an opportunity to continue their education into middle and high school. Over the last couple years, our program has grown to help teens in other poor areas in Puerto Barrios.
1/18: Our original 5 students who started the program in 2016! They are awesome young men & women!
Our first group of students in 2016 consisted of five middle schoolers. In 2017, 20 students attended middle and high school through Project VALOR. This year, we have 40 students who are in our program! We are so excited that they want to continue their education and that their parents see the value in education. Lord willing, next year, we will add 5-10 more students to our program.
We truly believe that education combined with the hope and joy of Christ will transform these children’s lives and futures.
Not only is Project Valor giving the students the opportunity to continue their schooling, it also provides them with the necessary tools they need to succeed. Each week, the students have to attend our tutoring program twice a week. There, they have access to school supplies, printers, computers, and teachers to help them. In addition, we have a devotional time each day where our missionaries teach the teens about God’s Word, and how God desires us to act and love others. One student wrote in a letter to her sponsor, “I have learned a lot, that we should help others and also that we should love our neighbors” and another student wrote, “I thank you with all of my heart, and I am thankful for the teachers (Pure Joy staff) that we have here that have taught us many things. Some of these things are that we should help others, just like you have helped us, so we should help others too. Thank you for the example you have given us to follow.”
Our staff who work at tutoring program have become more like family for these teens. One of our students lost her mother and was extremely shy at the beginning of this year. As the year continued, she began to feel more comfortable with our staff. Now, she has opened up so much to our missionary Yeni. It has been amazing to see the friendships and trust that our missionaries have been able to build with these teens. Every day, Yeni tells the teens, “Bye, my children!” and the teens respond with “Bye, Momma Yeni!”
Our missionaries have the great privilege of not only helping the teens with their homework, but they also have the opportunity each week to encourage the teens and remind them that they are smart, important, valued, loved, and capable— something that several of these teens do not hear at home.
When we asked one of our students if he liked the tutoring program, he responded with yes! A few seconds later, he looked up with a smile and said, “I like the food!” The meals the sponsorships provide are also a great help to these teens.
In addition to the tutoring program, every other month, the students participate in a community service project as a way to pay it forward and give back to their community.
God has been so faithful in providing the needed sponsors for all our students in the past, and our prayer is that this year will be no different! We are in need of 5-10 more people who would be willing to sponsor a child at $45/month.
For $45/month (or $540/year), you can give these teens an opportunity that they desire and need. The sponsorship includes daily bus fees, school fees, school uniforms, shoes, school supplies, and the lunches at the tutoring program. If you are unable to give the full $45/month, a donation of any amount will go towards helping this program continue. All donations are tax-deductible.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child or would like to receive more information, please fill out the boxes below and click sumbit! If you would like to donate to this program, please click on the donate button below. Thank you!!
God is working in the hearts and minds of these children. We believe He has big plans for them and their community. The amazing part is that He allows us to be a part of it! If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (570) 360-9216 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Meaning Behind
"Project VALOR"Valor is the Spanish word for value.
We want these teens to know their value in Christ. We want them to see themselves as Christ sees them: beloved, strong, worthy.
The V in VALOR is for Victory in Christ.
We hope and pray these students receive and proclaim victory in their lives through Christ.
The A stands for Academics.
Education is a crucial part of stopping the cycle of poverty. Through their sponsors, these children are able to continue their academic education. The tutoring program also gives them the academic support they need to do well.
The L is for Love.
We want more than anything for these children and teens to feel loved-- loved by God and loved by us. We want them to understand and experience the selfless and unconditional love that God has for them.
The O stands for Opportunity.
We want the students to have opportunities that they wouldn't have had otherwise. The opportunity to go to school, the opportunity to get academic support, the opportunity to learn about Jesus, and the opportunity to bring Christ's love to others.
The R is for Readiness.
We hope and pray that this program will equip these students with what they need to be ready for their future. We pray they are prepared academically, but more importantly, we pray they understand and live out Ephesians 6:10-17:
""Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
1 Reference: http://www.globaleducationfund.org/guatemala/
Thank you to everyone who donated shoes for Guatemala this summer!! The children were so happy and thankful for their new shoes. Check out the pictures below! With your help, we were able to give shoes to around 200 children and adults at Club Exploradores, Project Valor, the orphanage and city dump!