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Posts Tagged ‘education’

Homeschooling Success Stories

Monday, August 14th, 2017

The backpacks of children from Dorie's Promise and neatly lined up and ready to go.

By Kelly Shank –

Dorie's Promise teacher Lucky gets some papers ready.For many of us August signals the end of summer vacation and beginning of a new school year. We’re busy scoping out back-to-school sales, shuttling kids to sports practices, and attending back-to-school nights as we ease back into our routines. We don’t question whether our children will attend school, just maybe which school is the best fit for them.

Education is a great equalizer but when children are born into generational poverty they lack access to this gift.

Often children entering Dorie’s Promise, and those in communities where we serve, lack opportunities for quality education. Education can be a luxury because survival is the priority.

Did your family ever move when you were a child? Do you remember walking into your new school on the first day, unsure about where to go and not yet having met your new group of friends?

Now imagine this same situation but you’re 7 years old and you’re entering school for the first time ever. No preschool, no kindergarten, no formal schooling. Earlier this year we welcomed Cristina into our home after the horrific fire at the Virgen de Ascunsion orphanage. Based on her age, she should be well into elementary school by our standards, but this bright young girl has never attended school before. The mix of an unstable home and eventual transfer to a large government orphanage caused her to miss out on her education. She wasn’t just behind in school, she had never been exposed to school before.

Earlier this year we welcomed Cristina into our home after the horrific fire at the Virgen de Ascunsion orphanage.

Christina

We are starting at the beginning to help her catch up on her studies and she is excited to experience school for the first time.

Cristina isn’t our first child who has needed special help with school. For some of the poorest in Guatemala, their childhood revolves around picking vegetables or selling trinkets on the streets of Guatemala City to help support their families. Many years ago we opened our home to a beautiful young woman who had been working to help care for her four younger siblings. We knew that she was full of potential and wanted to learn but school would not be easy for her. Instead of Spanish, her native language was one of the local dialects which made learning in a traditional school and communicating within our home difficult. Overcoming this obstacle was key to her future school success.

Both of these girls are bright and filled with promise, our job is to help them be successful. Thanks to our teacher at Dorie’s Promise and the efforts of the Special Mothers in our home, both of these young ladies have made huge strides. The young woman who came to us many years ago made tremendous gains during the years she lived with us.

At Dorie's Promise children get education to match their needs.After being homeschooled she was able to attend a local vocational school that offered her the chance for a good job. The girl who struggled to speak Spanish eventually went on to surprise us by learning conversational English. We are thankful for our dedicated teacher and Special Mothers who spent countless hours helping these girls so that they could make up for many lost school years.

These are just two examples of the difficulties our children face. Identifying the struggles and strengths of each child in our home is key to helping them succeed! We give our children opportunities to be adults who can break the cycle of generational poverty and become the next generation of leaders.

Last Chance to Give for 2016

Friday, December 30th, 2016

A BIg smile from one of the children at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaPlease consider a special gift to help us end 2016 strong. Your gift will help us make sure that we are able to send the children of Dorie’s Promise to the schools best fitted to their individual needs and learning abilities.

The average cost of sending a child to a private school in Guatemala is $142 a month, or $1,700 per year — which covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation. Everything they need to be successful.

We invite you to help us give our children this exceptional education, a chance most orphaned children will never have, through your kind giving. Maybe you could give a gift of $1,000 or $500. Maybe that’s too much. Maybe you are better able to give a gift of $50 or $100. Please give today, before the year is out.

Thank you for making a real difference in the lives of our children!

Ana’s School Breakthrough!

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Ana is in the fourth grade.By Heather Radu –

A beaming Ana at her school, Shaddai.Last week I gave you updates on Nayeli and Brayan (if you missed it, read that post here.) I’d really like you to know about Ana too. Because of your help, we have been able to get Ana into a wonderful Christian school called Shaddai. She is in the fourth grade. When she came to us 7 years ago, she was behind in her schooling. We worked with her, of course, but always knew her math skills were lagging.

This year she’s had a breakthrough! Her teacher has been spending extra time with her on math. Ana has been getting regular tutoring on the subject … and you know what? She was recently selected to represent the school in a math competition!

She did well and proved to herself that it just takes extra effort to get ahead and do well in school. What a great life lesson!

Alej says that Ana is now talking about attending college and becoming a doctor someday!

Ana had a breakthrough in school this year.Stories like Ana’s, of lives that being changed at Dorie’s Promise, are an every day occurrence. They are stories of lives being changed because of you, your heart, and your giving.

We need to raise about $30,000 to secure schooling for our children before their school year begins in January. Please pray about it. Whatever God lays on your heart to contribute, I want to urge you to give it today.

When you give, I want to do something really special for you. I’ve been thinking about what would be nice to do that would connect you with the work of education. If you can send a gift of $100 or more, I want to send you one of our children’s report cards with a note from them saying thank you. My hope is you will keep it close by — on the fridge or in your office or in your Bible — somewhere it will remind you of the important work you are doing in Guatemala to help the orphans at Dorie’s Promise grow and thrive.

Let me hear from you soon. We are making plans for schooling for each of our children as you read this. Please Give Today.

It is Almost Time for School… (January Begins A New School Year in Guatemala)

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Maria is all packed up and ready for school!

By Heather Radu –

Take a moment to stop and remember what it was like to get ready for a new school year.

The new shoes, new clothes, maybe a new backpack or even pee-chee folders. It was all so exciting — like a new adventure was about to start.

Nayeli shortly before leaving to study in the USA.I want to give you an update on Nayeli. As you may know, Nayeli is on a student visa to the United States. She’s the oldest child in the home and has grown into a woman of God with a heart that is tender and kind. Her passion for learning is real, and because of that she’s now able to study in the United States. Please join me in praising God for this young woman. I’ve known her since she was 3. To watch her grow and thrive is a testament to the work we are doing at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

I also want to tell you about Brayan.

We have had Brayan in our care since 2009. When he was young, he was a fiery little guy — nearly impossible to control. Some of it was due to his independent spirit … some because of a slight learning disability.

Over the years, we have worked diligently with Brayan to help him achieve and overcome. One of the ways we have been able to do that is getting him into a special technical school. It has allowed him to explore and develop different skills that will help him in the work place as he matures.
His favorite class at school is music, and he is learning to play guitar. He also enjoys the cooking and computer classes. Alej says, “Every morning he is ready to go to school with a big smile — and the only reason for that is because he enjoys every day and is making good friends there.”

This is what it means to see a life Forever Changed!Brayan gets hands on experience at his technical school.

But Nayeli and Brayan are not the only children doing well.

As we look ahead, I want to ask you to help us continue to make sure our children get the best education possible. This is the key to building a better life, to breaking the cycle of poverty. I truly believe that the children who rise up from Dorie’s Promise will be leaders in this country someday — that they will speak truth to the problems that created the scenario in which they were left alone as children.

Please stand with me and consider a special gift to help them go to the schools that will best help them learn and mature.

The average cost of sending a child to a private school in Guatemala is $1,700 per year. That’s just about $142 a month — which covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation.

I would like to invite you to help us give our children an exceptional educational experience through your kind giving. I don’t know what you could give. My role is to ask for the children, so I’m asking. Maybe you could give a gift of $1,000 or $500. Maybe that’s too much. Maybe you are better able to give a gift of $50 or $100. Give today.

I want you to know everything you do for our children helps and makes a real difference! Thank you!

Vision, Hopes, And Dreams…

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Education at Dorie's Promise is tailored to each child.

By Heather Radu –

Our staff has never been in a better place. For years, we have had to spend a lot of time working on the daily operations and staffing. We have had staff come and go … in my opinion, the mix of personalities and talent was just never exactly right to give our children and the home the kind of care and attention they needed.

Today all that has changed. This is the best I have seen our operations run in Guatemala since the day we started. These changes in our home have allowed me to be able to engage our team and talk and dream about the future.

Those are the hopes and dreams and ideas I want you to read about.

Dr. Castro continues to work with us and make sure our children get the best possible health care.Health Care

Dr. Castro continues to work with us and make sure our children get the best possible health care. I am completely confident in his abilities in this area and look forward to his partnership for many years to come. As you know, we decided a few years ago that the mental health of our children was also a priority. We have made significant investments in this area and will continue to do so. As the children get older, we are seeing an even greater need for this kind of therapy. We must continue to be focused on mental health issues so that our children can really grow and thrive.

Education

We are spending a lot of time and energy on finding the right schools for our children. Last week we had two 6th grade graduations — Jennifer and Ingrid finished elementary school. When I heard Ingrid received her diploma, what immediately came to mind was the little girl who came to our home seven years ago. She had never studied. She was afraid to even think about the idea. But today her world is totally different. She has dreams, she has goals to reach. I am confident there will be a day when we see her becoming a professional. Some of our children, like Ingrid and Jennifer, have the ability to go on to college. Others are going to need to be focused on a technical track. Our tutor is helping each of our children and identifying things they love, talking with them about their hopes and dreams. Join me in continuing to pray for them and their education. Our goal is to put them each on a path that amplifies their natural abilities and allows them to be successful.

Brayan, has been learning to play the guitar, and two weeks ago he had a performance at his school. Extracurricular

Giving children the opportunity to expand their horizons is huge. And extracurricular activities are the best way to do that. Brayan, for example, has been learning to play the guitar, and two weeks ago he had a performance at his school. He did so well! The audience loved his performance. His teacher complimented his natural talent. Giving our children exposure to activities like soccer, tennis, and martial arts teaches them discipline as well. It allows them to interact with adults outside the home and learn respect. It also teaches them hobbies that are popular in Guatemalan culture — ones they will probably use with their own children and grandchildren.

English

One of the best things we can do for our children is to teach them English. This is one of the key factors for being financially successful in Guatemala. Our children are always exposed to English with our mission trip guests. Ana is our star right now. She has been taking some English courses at school. Paul, a volunteer who teaches English, is coming to Dorie’s twice per week and is surprised at the interest and capacity that Ana is showing to learn English. We want to give all our children the opportunity to speak English, learn it, know it, and internalize it. Our team believes this is possible for all our children.

International Exposure

Nayeli is a first example of giving one of our children international exposure. She is currently studying in the United States, and we are learning more and more about how to do it in the future. Our children, from their earliest ages, get a chance to interact with Americans and Canadians. Being able to send them out of Guatemala and give them a bigger picture of the world is very important to our team.

Ana is our star English student/Our Board believes, and I hope you do, too, that by helping our children in these ways, we will be opening up a world of opportunities to them.

These are the hopes and dreams of our staff in Guatemala City. These are things we can do together, and what I believe God is calling us to do. 

Your generosity will be used to help all our children grow and thrive and become the people God created them to be.

If you’re like me, you see each one of them as more than just an orphaned child. You see their value and their purpose. Thank you for being part of their lives!

This December, please help us with a special gift for the children. Before the years out, we need to raise around $30,000. In order to raise that amount, it is going to take all of us— you, me, everyone we know. Please share this update with your friends. Spread it on social media, email it to your church mission committee,  print and give it to your grandmother— get the word out.

Help us reach this year-end goal!

New Opportunities: Brayan’s Education

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Brayan learning to cook in his vocational school.

By MJ Zelya-

Pablo our Missions Director with BrayanBrayan is attending a new school, a training/vocational school, to help him develop in other capacities and areas. It will provide him the tools he needs for his future.

He loves both gastronomy and music. He does well at French cooking, and he loves to play the guitar. Someone donated a guitar for him to practice at home, so he is always playing and singing.

He is also playing on a soccer team on Saturdays. They have played in several championships — winning first place in one and fifth place in the other. He was so excited when they won the trophy. His trainer says Brayan has the potential to be a great soccer player.

His teachers say:

He has great culinary ability, is dedicated to the craft, and finishes what he starts. His leadership qualities help him in workshops and as part of a team. Sometimes he gets upset if he has to correct something that was done wrong.

Someone donated a guitar for him to practice at home, so he is always playing and singing.In regard to art and sculpture, he has developed artistic skills and can perfectly mix all the colors he uses when he’s drawing and making models.

In his dance classes, he is enthusiastic and loves the Latin rhythms. He is always positive, getting more coordinated, and creating new steps and giving suggestions.

In computer class, he is a genius — one of the best in the classroom.

He is a strong student, polite, loving, and responsible.

We are so proud of Brayan’s achievements in and out of school! He is a boy with great potential who is not only developing skills for his future, but also preparing to be a good citizen of his country. If you’d like to help us continue to provide educational and growth opportunities for children like Brayan consider a special gift for education. Every year it takes nearly $55,000 to continue to ensure our children receive the EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION they need. We want to make sure that every child living at our home gets education that is tailored to their needs. You can help make that happen: GIVE TODAY!

Update On Extracurricular Activities: Karate, Ballet and More!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

THe CHildren of Dorie's Promise with their Karate Instructor

By MJ Zelya –

The children of Dorie's Promise in Ballet class.As a part of our child development sphere of care, the children at Dorie’s Promise participate in different extracurricular activities — things like karate, ballet, or tennis classes.

And we have even such improvement! They share and communicate better with each other, and their self-esteem has flourished.

In fact, one important facet of a child’s participation in extracurricular activities is the link to higher academic achievement, fewer behavior problems, and higher rates of success in adulthood.

For example, involvement in sports:

  1. Teaches children the concepts of discipline, effort, and teamwork.
  2. Creates healthy habits for life.
  3. Helps with hyperactivity in some children and can affect their school performance by increasing their concentration and improving their mood.The Karate Instructor visiting Dorie's Promise.
  4. Allows them to be better organized outside of school.
  5. Strengthens motor coordination and improves reflexes, providing greater strength and agility.
  6. Can be essential in the process of socialization, meaning an easy way to make new friends, improve relationships, and help them be more tolerant and accepting of different viewpoints.
  7. And it not only uses energy — but it lets them have fun!

One karate teacher explains some of his experience:
“When I started karate classes with the children of Dorie’s Promise, it was a bit difficult because I was used to starting a karate class with discipline and order. I understood that while children of Dorie’s Promise need to know the philosophy of karate on issues such as self-control, discipline, and respect, they also needed a class that was entertaining for them. Combining discipline with a game, always reminding them of the concepts of control and respect, I have seen remarkable changes — especially in Hans and Lester. They both have better coordination and control of their space. They have also improved in the areas of self-control. On one occasion, I asked Hans the meaning of control. He thought for a moment and replied that it meant ‘do not act crazy.’ I found that a very good response and remember them (in his words) at appropriate times.The children enjoy their Karate classes.

“In most children I have also noticed an improvement in their self-esteem. At first, Abraham Cabrera, Luis, and Jose Antonio did not like to demonstrate an exercise or a technique, but now they are the first to raise their hands to be an example.

“In all children I have observed, as is normal, increased strength, flexibility, and the ability to pay attention. We always play a game that I call ‘Sensei says’ — with the same rules as ‘Simon says’ — which includes karate techniques, and it has improved their attention and reaction time.”

The ballet teacher says:

The girls enjoy the opportunity to take ballet classes.“There has been a big change in their behavior, in discipline, in following instructions, and improvement in technique; their flexibility and ability are great; teamwork is something they have learned well instead working solo.”

Thanks to the support of friends like you, the precious children of Dorie’s Promise have a brand-new future awaiting them. No longer are they “orphans,” forgotten and alone, but rather part of a growing, thriving, loving family dedicated to providing them opportunities for success — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

If you or someone you know wants to forever change a child’s life, become a sponsor now — simply click here to do so. Thank you for being part of lifelong transformation, one child at a time!

Dorie’s Promise Students Participate in the School Science Fair!

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Students from Dorie's Promise participate in a science fair.

By MJ Zelya –

Ana smiling during a school activity.One of the things the children at Dorie’s Promise love the most is the chance to experience a wide range of different activities. We are especially excited when our children participate in fun school activities. The hands-on-learning they get from these activities helps them develop a lifelong love for learning.

Recently, the school held a Science Fair. The children were so excited! They couldn’t stop talking about it. All of them planning and thinking about what kind of experiments to do and if it’a going to work for them. They were happy, anxious, and enthusiastic- all at the same time.

We are glad to see them so excited for school, it’s really satisfying to watch them grow, becoming more responsible with their homework and see the effort they make to do their best.

Here some of them share their experience with their science experiments:

Fabiola – I did my presentation on making rainbows. The experiment was to use a disc and a candle to reproduce a rainbow. My friends and I worked together to prepared for the project. We worked through every step of the experiment. I was a little nervous, but with the support of my friends it encouraged me. In the end everything went really well.

Ingrid and Lucia – It was very fun for us. It was the first time we have participated in this kind of activity. Our experiment was to make a hologram with a box and a disc. The first step was to form the pieces of the disc into a triangle. A video is projected and the triangle shaped disc reflects the image. It was an unforgettable experience! The best part was sharing it with our peers and their parents, our Special Mothers and the others at home and our teacher. This have motivated us both to discover and learn more.

Silvia with her science fair gorup.Silvia – (For Silvia the fair meant a lot, because she is afraid of public speaking. The Science Fair was challenging for her, but gave her a chance to overcome her fears.) I was very nervous because I had to say a paragraph about the process of our experiment. We filled a water balloon with water and then had to keep it from exploding as we moved it closer to the fire from a candle. It caused my nerves to go crazy when I’d hear the explosion of a balloon, but I practice it a lot before we gave our presentation. I really wanted everything to go great. Having this experience gives me confidence and security in front of the school.

It’s incredible how all our children are growing, and it’s fun to watch them experiencing new things. Without the opportunity to attend to school they would not be getting opportunities like these that help prepare them for the future. Their lives are forever changing through this ministry! It’s because of your support that these children are preparing for a brighter future. Each year we need to raise over $50,000 to help provide exceptional education for our students. We are thankful for the many donors and sponsors who make this possible. Would you like to give a special gift for education? Go now.

Beyond Dorie’s Promise: An Update on Jonathan

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Jonathan and his brother Gerson at Dorie's Promise in 20111

Jonathan and his brother Gerson at Dorie’s Promise in 20111

By MJ Zelya –

Jonathan at a recent school ceremony.

Jonathan at a recent school ceremony.

One of the things I love about my job is seeing God move through situations or people that enter our lives for an unseen reason or purpose. Seeing a positive change in others’ lives helps you keep going — not stopping — to daily improve and develop a better version of yourself.

When we receive children who come from abuse or neglect, our hearts hurt knowing their physical and emotional status, but we know they come with a purpose! Dorie’s Promise has the chance to help transform their lives in every aspect!

That happened with Jonathan … perhaps you remember him. He entered Dorie’s Promise in 2009 and stayed two years. He was sent by a court order from the hospital because he had third-degree burns on his hands from his biological mother. At his young age, he was abused physically and emotionally. At the time we could not imagine the lack of parenting and love that would lead to long-lasting scars on this beautiful child’s life.

Toward the beginning, Jonathan was shy and would have regular behavioral outbursts. His heart was filled with anger — toward his old life and his mother.

After working with a psychologist, we noticed he was changing … he learned to forgive his mother — God was giving him a new opportunity to start afresh, leave the past behind, and focus on his future.

Jonathan in 2011

Jonathan at Dorie’s Promise in 2011.

After two years of therapy, he was ready to go back home. The minors’ court decided he should be reunited with his mother in 2012 — after she went through parenting school and psychological help as well. His mom learned her lesson, and Jonathan learned to believe in God, and also in himself.

We continue supporting Jonathan and his brother Gerson, with a scholarship and school supplies. They visit us and play with the children. He has grown a lot — this year he started middle school and is very responsible, with excellent grades!

We are thankful that God let us be part of his life and the process of change. We are so proud of him and what he has accomplished!

We also thank YOU for your support … Please continue praying for our ministry and for all of our children’s lives to be forever changed!

Back to School

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Ready for another year of school!

By MJ Zelya –

Heading to the van for schoolThe return to school after the holidays is a little difficult but exciting for the children of Dorie’s Promise. For some children they feel like they are “big kids” now because they will begin primary school. For others they are excited because they will attend to school for the first time this year, and others because they are returning to study and play with their school friends.

It is gratifying to see their excitement, as we watched them explore their backpacks filled with new school supplies, books, and workbooks.

The first day of school is always a little crazy and a bit rushed for everyone, including special mothers, because we have children attending 4 different schools. The children go to schools that can best help their development depending on their current knowledge and skill level.

The schools they attend are El Shaddai, Hossana School, American-Guatemalan Institute and a few attend public school. We truly believe that helping our children to attend a school that is right for them, will open doors in the future and will drop the barriers of poverty, that generations of their families have lived in.

Boys ready for the first day of school.One day the children will leave our home and like any good parent we want to prepare them as best as we can to be good people, who can support their families and be a godly example for others.

When children are given the opportunity to be educated they are able to gain social and emotional skills including: confidence, persistence, organization, getting along with others, and emotional resilience—qualities that they are developing not only at Dorie’s Promise but also in the school setting.

While at school they also work on developing new motor skills. Physical Education encourages them to do things better with practice (like dribbling a ball or jumping rope) and they learn teamwork which is an essential skill.

By the way— Our children really do love school!

The girls, ready on the first day of school.Seven year old, Nayeli Soto says, “I like to go to school because it helps me to learn more. Now I can read the books that I like. Last year my favorite subjects were math and science.”

Abraham Emanuel, also seven, says, “I like to do my homework, color and play with my friends at school. I like sports, especially when we play soccer!”

Ingrid who is 14 says she’s excited for school because, “this year I’m going to a private school where my English classes will be more intensive and I will learn computer Skills. I’m so happy!”

Yire, age 5, told us, “I like my school, the activities they have for us are fun. And I like to do my homework.” But he complains that it’s difficult for him to do cursive handwriting!

We are grateful because God’s has provided, through our many sponsors, the opportunity to give our children a good education and a better future! If you are not a sponsor yet, please prayerfully consider sponsoring one of our children. You’ll be part of shaping a new future for them and it might even change your life!