Since the start of the program in 2007, we have had over 450 children participate. These children have been able to develop key skills that will help ensure their success in the future. They have gained confidence, been able to develop themselves and have developed the ability and desire to give back to their communities.
Our program seeks to bridge the educational gap for young students in rural areas, promoting access to higher and better education so they can be leaders in their own communities and therefore, help overcome the poverty cycle. We work with students, mainly from primaria (elementary, grades 5 and 6) and secundaria (middle school, grades 7,8 and 9). As they progress in their education, we encourage them to continue with preparatoria. In coordination with other NGO's, we are building a structured program to mentor students throughout their high school years.
In any given year, 80-85% of youth in these rural communities do not attend high school. Rural Ed's programs looks to reduce this number every year and encourage all youth to attend. We are promoting the message that we respect the rural lifestyle in the community while offering them more than they currently receive. We aim to open the mind of young people and their parents to the many opportunities these children can have by attending high school.
Many families identify financial restraints as a major obstacle to attending high school. There are many costs associated with high school which include transportation, books, supplies and uniforms. The provision of scholarships has helped alleviate some of these costs and facilitated attendance in higher education for these children. Since our program started, Rural Ed has been able to provide 9 scholarships to students living in the communities where we work. All of them participated on our programs.
Building Community Centers
In the community of Don Diego, Rural Ed worked with community members and other organizations to build a community center where we run our programs. The center is also used by the community for various events and activities. The development of the center provided the community with a place where they could gather and work together, and also a place that they can offer to other organizations for activities and events of interest to the community.
This community has over 1000 youth, of which we expect to impact 15 to 20%, or 150 to 200 youth. This has become a project that Rural Ed and the community of Don Diego are extremely proud of. We are hoping to develop other relationships and projects like this in the future. If you would like to make a donation to support maintance of this community center or the construction of a new one, please visit our donate page.