Guatemalan Orphans Attend Private School

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Generous donors make excellent education a priority for kids living at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala. Orphans who struggled in traditional classrooms get additional help through private schools.

“The opportunity to partner with the school has been a godsend for our team – and even more than that for our children,” Dorie’s Promise Director Alejandra Diaz.

An initiative to provide private schooling for children living at Dorie’s Promise has enhanced enrollees’ education. It has worked so well that in 2014 officials hope to expand the opportunity to all 18 school-age kids living at the orphanage in Guatemala’s capital.

The program originated in January of 2012 with four children who received scholarships to attend El Shaddai, a Christian school affiliated with an evangelical church. It has since expanded, with a dozen children tested and accepted for the new school year that begins in January of 2014. In addition, Dorie’s Promise has secured other private school options for six other children whose significant academic challenges mean they require additional attention.

“The opportunity to partner with the school has been a godsend for our team – and even more than that for our children,” Dorie’s Promise Director Alejandra Diaz says of the home’s relationship with El Shaddai. “A quality education is one of the best things we can provide for the children in our care. Private schooling helps them with such qualities as communication, personal and social development, and motor skills.”

“If anyone thinks back to their first day of school, they remember it as a brand-new time when it seemed their whole world was changing,” says Heather Radu, founder of Forever Changed International (FCI), which operates Dorie’s Promise. “However, for children coming from dysfunctional backgrounds, it can be a frightening and uncertain time. Thanks to the generous donors who have enabled our children to enroll in private schools, they have a brighter future.”

“I love my school,” says Ana, a precocious eight-year-old and one of the first to attend El Shaddai. “They teach us about God. I like going there every day. The teachers are so nice to me and I have learned so many things.” Such comments reflect the new promise awaiting kids whose dysfunctional backgrounds have often denied them even basic schooling in the past. To ensure that all 18 eligible children at Dorie’s Promise can attend private school next year, FCI has initiated a campaign to raise an additional $21,000 by December 31, 2013.

The average cost of sending each child to a private school is $1,500 per year, which covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies and education. Thus far, Dorie’s Promise only has commitments for $6,900, leaving them just shy of enough to pay for the cost of five children.

“Please help us raise $21,000 by December 31 so our children can know the joy of the gift of private education this Christmas,” Radu says. “Together, we can provide some of the less fortunate children in the world with the opportunity to grow spiritually and academically through private Christian education.”

Located in Guatemala City, Dorie’s Promise is an orphanage providing fulltime care, housing, education and other amenities for up to 40 children. The home operates solely on donations and grants, primarily from sources in the United States. It is operated by Forever Changed International (FCI), which is based in the metro Portland, Oregon area. Founded in 2009 by Heather Radu, FCI is dedicated to rescuing orphans and providing them with a safe, nurturing environment. For more information, contact Radu at 360-836-7626 or e-mail heather (at) servewithfci (dot) org.

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Heather Radu
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