Guatemala has long been in a deep crisis. Education faces major challenges. Schools have limited resources and receive little attention and money from the government. Because of financial difficulties, education is not a priority for many parents. Children have to help earn money and leave school early. This choice reduces their chances in the labour market. This applies once more to children and young people with disabilities; they are often discriminated against and neglected.
Therefore, a three-year education programme in seven schools in the Western Highlands has joined hands to improve the opportunities of 500 children and facilitate about 50 young people with disabilities. This third year of the project will also support a group of 25 indigenous women.
What will happen concretely on the education front:
Headmasters and teachers are actively involved in project decision-making and implementation. Where necessary, programmes are adapted to the specific needs of the students. Efforts are also made to increase parental involvement.
To support women who cannot participate in society and live in great poverty, there is also a programme for them. Here, they themselves have indicated what they want help with: reforestation of their environment. After all, wood is indispensable for cooking and heating the house. The twenty-five women receive support in consulting with community leaders and buying and planting trees around their village.
The project improves opportunities for children, youth and women and promotes self-sufficiency. Once the project is completed, the schools will continue the education programme independently.
Implementation is in the hands of the StartUp4kids Foundation and Asociación Yabal Guatemala with support from the Wilde Ganzen Foundation. StartUp4kids is committed to opportunity development of disadvantaged children worldwide, with a focus on social and financial skills. Yabal Guatemala is a Fair Trade organisation that supports indigenous women’s weaving cooperatives in Guatemala and enables them to sell their handwoven products locally and internationally.