In past blogs I have mentioned the privatization of the school located on our ministry property. Since returning to Paraguay, we have been working constantly to make this dream a reality. It is hard for many of us to imagine the reality of daily life in Paraguay. Families where both parents are working and together are making only two or three hundred dollars a month- or even less in some cases. Many of these parents hope that their children will have a better life- that they will not be working 80 hours a week to merely survive. A grandmother that lives in a squatter's village with her grandchildren, some with learning disabilities, wondering if the public schools will even accept her her grandkids in their school. Children living in our children's home that previously sold candy and whatever else they could find on the street to have enough money to buy bread for that day, never dreaming that some day they would have the opportunity to study, work, and forge a completely different life for themselves and their siblings.
I don't want to over-dramatize the situation in Paraguay, but I do want to clearly communicate to each of you our hope and vision for the life of each child that will be entering Colegio Cristiano de Itaugua (our private school) and ask for your help in seeing this vision become a reality. Our school is offering not only a wonderful education to the children, but also uniforms for school and textbooks that will let the children learn as they never have. When launching the registration for classes we were unsure if many children from the community would come. Last year, as a government school, there were approximately 70 students. On the first day of registration, over 20 community children registered for classes. Tomorrow is the final day for registration and as of today, we have 97 students, including the 30 children from our children's home, registered from pre-school to 8th grade! We were shocked and overwhelmed by the response. We even had a teacher from a very nearby public school bring her children to enroll them because she knew that the quality of education they had been receiving in her school was not going to equip her children to succeed.
Textbooks in Paraguay come in the form of a textbook/workbook where the material and exercises are all together in one book. The approximate cost for these books is $15.00. Each student will need one book for each subject and total, we are looking at a cost of $7,500.00. To give each student a pair of khaki shorts and pants and two polo shirts, the cost per student is $30.00, for a total of $3,000.00. We would also like to buy a copier for the school, which will cost $1,500.00.
We need your help! If you would like more information about our ministries or are interested in giving to these one-time projects or in supporting the monthly cost of paying the teachers' and principal's salary ($3,000/month), please contact us via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send your tax-deductible donation to Serving Paraguay P.O. Box 6092, Mesa, AZ 85216. Write "school" in the memo line so that your donation will be properly allocated.