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In Parnership With: Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala
LIGHT AND LITERACY FOR A MAYAN VILLAGE IN GUATEMALA
“Let’s Leave No Girl Behind”

Project Description and Activities:

Introduce a Light and Literacy program into one remote Mayan village without electricity for ten families. The project will target both teen-age girls 13 – 18, as well as women who cannot read or write Spanish.  One teen-age girl or woman per family (if there are no illiterate teen-age girls in the family) will be selected to join the reading group.

This opportunity will be offered to families known to Adopt-a-Village who are currently participating in its Sustainable Gardening project.  A trained bilingual (Q’anjob’al and Spanish) “traveling teacher” will spend one day per week in the villages for six months to teach reading. The beneficiary families will have been introduced to the concept of “light and literacy” by a mini prototype project in which one child per family participates in a three-month reading program and earns a solar lamp.  When the Rotary EClub’s project is introduced, excitement and understanding for the larger project designed specifically for girls and women will have been established.

At the end of the six-month training period, each girl/woman who succeeds in the program will be awarded a solar power kit that will provide basic lighting in her family’s home.  The kits will be similar to those used in the State of Jefferson’s eClub Rotary project at the Navajo Reservation in the United States, based on availability in Guatemala.

Additionally, funds will be provided to pay for half an annual scholarship for a qualified teen-age girl of the region to attend middle school classes at the Maya Jaguar Educational Center’s boarding school.  Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala will raise the second half of the required funding.

Number of Beneficiaries: 

  • Whereas ten girls / women will directly benefit, once they have learned to read, those numbers will increase exponentially as they help to teach their siblings and children, thereby expanding the number of beneficiaries to a projected 60 children, based on average family size. Importantly, ten households will have the benefit of solar lighting of which no opportunity existed prior to a family’s daughter or wife learning to read and earning solar electricity for the family’s home.
  • The overall benefits for the participating girls/women are several:
    • they will be empowered to read;
    • they will be empowered to teach their siblings/children how to read;
    • they will have earned valuable household equipment through their efforts in learning to read.
    • The solar power equipment they receive based on their efforts will serve to put them in higher regard with male family members.

Rotary and Rotaract Involvement:

  • A member of the State of Jefferson Rotary eClub, Osman Castañeda, will volunteer to oversee the project and submit invoices and a final report to the Rotary eClub.
  • Osman Castañeda will oversee the education of the girl receiving the Club’s partial scholarship. He will send the girl’s profile, photo and letters to the Rotary eClub during her year at school.  Rotary members will be invited to exchange letters with her.
  • Rotaract members of the Rotaract eClub of No Borders, sponsored by Rotary eClub will volunteer to install the solar kits at no cost, underwriting their own travel, food, and lodging costs.  .
  • Rotaract members will prepare a brief summary on the history of the village, Nuevo Progreso, as well as information on each family.  Photos will be provided of the family and installation.

Funds will supply ten households with light and literacy in the following manner: 

  • Provide an opportunity to raise self-esteem for girls and women and increase their perceived worth in their families.
  • Provide one girl or mother, along with the family’s additional children, the introduction to the national language and a beginning skill in reading
  • Provide a solar lighting kit for the home
  • Eliminate the cost of providing candles throughout the year, (estimated at $100 per year), and eliminate the dangers associated in using candles.
  • Provide half an annual scholarship for a girl to attend classes at the Maya Jaguar Middle School in 2018.

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