Ripple Effect Scholarship Program – Appeal for Funding for 2018 School Year
The primary objective of the Ripple Effect Scholarship Program is to increase the number of students who can progress beyond Grade 6 to Middle School (Grades 7, 8 &9) and to graduate from High School (Grades 10, 11 & 12).
As our donors realize, poverty in Guatemala is very high. The percentage of Guatemalans living in poverty has been rising and is now estimated at 64% with slightly over 30% living in extreme poverty. About two/thirds of all Guatemalan children live in poverty.
Furthermore, Guatemala has the lowest enrollment in secondary education, in the Americas.
Without at least High School education, it is difficult for young persons to advance and make contributions towards the betterment of Guatemalan society.
Increasing the numbers of High School graduates can result in the true Ripple Effect of Hope, confidence and Pride in rural Guatemalan society, starting with the sense of pride in the parents of these children, and then in those children and young adults themselves who can and are assuming roles and positions in their society beyond the agricultural labour roles of their parents.
Hope, Confidence and Pride then ripples into the whole of the underprivileged communities; resulting in the heartfelt and more widely held belief that “It can be done!”
The RC Vista Hermosa works in partnership with Joint Institute of Basic and Diversified Education Cooperative School in the rural community of Santo Domingo Xenacoj, Guatemala to select the scholarship recipients.
Santo Domingo Xenacoj, is a town of the province of Sacatepequez, located 25 miles NW of Guatemala City. The town has a population of 12,000.
Since 2004 the scholarship program has funded over 500 scholarships for students in this community where only 60% of the students who finished Elementary School continued to Middle School (Grade 7). Only 50% of those who finished Middle School continued to High School (Grade 10). This was and is mostly due to the poverty levels. Families need the income that can be generated by sending their children to work, generally in agricultural labour, and cannot afford to have the teenage children go to school where they are not providing family income.
In 2016 and again this year, in 2017, the scholarship program invested $11,000 US to fund the award of 28 scholarships for Middle School and 15 scholarships for High School, for deserving students based on financial need and academic criteria as set out by the program.
Each of the scholarships helps offset out of pocket family expenses for school supplies, school fees, books, shoes, transportation, uniforms, and etc. High School students are provided payment funds to cover the costs for travel as there is no High School in Xenacoj.
Beyond that, our local Rotary partners in Guatemala, the Rotary Club of Vista Hermosa, have negotiated an agreement with the Municipality of Santo Domingo Xenacoj for 5 more High School scholarships for 5 years including the current year, 2017, and in 2018. The value of this is approximately $2,500 CDN/year.
RC Vista Hermosa also supports training at INTECAP Technical School in Business and Accounting to students in their 3rd year of high school as an option. Some of the 3rd year students also attend this institution for additional training and practical work experience.
In the appeal for funding for the 2018 school year for the Ripple Effect Scholarship Fund it has become necessary to increase the suggested donation amounts sought from Rotarians and other donors. The fluctuations of currency exchange rates between the Canadian and the US dollars from 2011 to the present, and particularly in the last two years, are such that the scholarship funding that the RESP provides annually, CDN$15,000, is now approximately 30% less in $US funds and similarly less in Guatemalan Queztals.
Consequently the suggested donation amounts sought from Rotarians and other donors in the campaign for the 2018 school year and subsequently is rising to CDN$160 for a Middle School (Basicos) student, and to CDN$650 for a High School (Diversificada) student.
This change does not entail any change in the number of students that will receive scholarships, or in the cost per scholarship recipient in Quezales but reflects only a currency adjustment .
Further Information and Donations
Information: Again this year the Rotary Club of Moose Jaw Wakamow is taking the Canadian lead on behalf of District 5550. For more information, please contact James Taylor at the Rotary Club of Moose Jaw Wakamow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All funds raised are deposited with the
Rotary District 5550 WCS Foundation
which is a registered Canadian charity