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Posts Tagged ‘education’

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!

Educational Accomplishments in 2015

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Teacher Lucky with a couple of the children at Dori'es Promise

By Lucrecia “Lucky” Perez  –

Lucky in the classroom at Dorie's PromiseHow do you fundamentally change a society? Education. It is a fundamental human right and will be the basis for building a better future for Guatemala. Education opens doors to being a better person, a person who will help make our world better. It helps us develop our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses. That is why we believe that with a good education our children can change the pattern set by previous generations who were stuck in a cycle of poverty.

This is our approach at Dorie’s Promise, we believe that greater education will make our children better people. It also allows the children to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt healthy ways of living and to make wise decisions for their future.

During this school year, we saw impressive progress in most of our children. We have several students who were already excelling at school. Some others started school this year, and gave it their best, despite hardships along the way. Attending school has helped our children feel safer, learn to share with others, to speak more clearly, and a host of other benefits.

We are so excited to share with you some of their accomplishments:

Several students participated in a science fair this year. Jennifer and Ana both did group projects that won prizes. It was an unforgettable experience.

Abraham and Nayeli Soto started primary school at El Shaddai this year. Abraham found it hard to adapt at first. During the year we worked together with his teacher to get positive results in his ability to follow the classroom routine and to get along with his classmates.

Lucky helping Jennifer with her homework.This year was a challenge for Ingrid, math is her least favorite subject and this year she had to do more than she’s done before. However, she stuck with it and we worked with her to improve her skill at mathematics. By the end of the year, her teach told us that she had improved and was a very responsible student.

Finally, let me tell you about Lucia- her teacher told us she takes initiative to learn and is interested in improving her reading. Lucia is a girl with clear goals and if she continues working hard there is no limit to what she can achieve. She has already overcome so much in her life (read her story here) it’s great to see her taking a positive approach to her education.

The school year in Guatemala runs from January through October. We currently have 15 children who will start private school in January.

The average cost of sending a child to private school is $1,700 per year. This amount covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation. Help us continue to give our children an exceptional education experience through your kind giving. Our goal is to raise $55,600 by December 31. These accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg. We have seen education do so much for the children of Dorie’s Promise.

Please consider a special gift to enable us to continue to provide these opportunities for our children.

Minds At Work

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Maria Jose, 11, has studied at El Shaddai for four years

What a difference a few years can make in the life of a child. Now just multiply that change by the number of children at Dorie’s Promise whose lives are changed daily through the gift of attending a private school! The transformation in their young lives is truly amazing. What started with only three of our children attending private school has multiplied to 15 in just a few short years.

Thanks to you and your generous support these past few years, we see and experience firsthand what it means for our children to have an opportunity to attend a private school.

Here is what Maria Jose, 11, who has studied at El Shaddai for four years, has to say about her education:

“I love to study at El Shaddai School because I have two teachers who are very smart and help me a lot with my doubts. I love my teachers and I admire them because they are smart and show me gratitude. My favorite classes are Arts, Spelling, Math, Computer lab, Robotics, Bible Studies, and Sports. In my school I have learned many things, but especially God’s love and how He takes care of us. I would like to keep going to this school because one of my dreams is to be a good teacher, pastor, and gymnast.”

Brayan doing homework.A private education means better teachers, positive influences, spiritual guidance, and the opportunity to see what life is like outside of Dorie’s Promise. Our staff tells us time and time again how these children’s lives are being changed and how much interest and enthusiasm they have for school today — how it shows not only academically, but also in their spiritual and emotional lives.

The only time we will send a child to a public school is when they first arrive at Dorie’s Promise, so we can get an idea of how they perform in a school setting. We have experienced firsthand how poorly the public schools operate and therefore do our best to get our children integrated into a private school setting as soon as possible.

Our Child Development Director takes great care as she creates individualized education plans per child. She takes into consideration their natural talents, academic strengths and weaknesses, and whether they have learning disabilities. Based on this information, children are placed in the school setting that best suits them.

Take, for instance, 12-year-old Ana Lucia, who arrived at Dorie’s Promise July 2014 with her sister, seven-year-old Fabiola. The girls’ older brother was caring for them after their mother died of cancer. He was then arrested for drug dealing and murdered while in prison. This is when they came to live with us. Fabiola was enrolled in public school and was thriving even with class sizes close to 40. This January will be her first year attending private school.

Here is what Ana Lucia has to say about her new life and education…

“Living at Dorie’s Promise means a lot of things to me; I have many mothers taking care of and concerned about me; I have food every day; I have a beautiful bedroom to sleep in. The good thing is that my little sister is with me and we are very happy. This year I again started school and I have good grades. I would like to learn English to speak with the missionaries and also would like to learn computer skills … I would like to go a school where I can learn more.”

12-year-old Ana Lucia, arrived at Dorie’s Promise July 2014 with her sister, seven-year-old Fabiola. As you can imagine sending 15 of our children to private school and providing onsite child development, tutoring, and school does not come without a cost. Would you be willing to invest in our children’s lives in this meaningful way? To give our children the exceptional education they deserve, we need your help.

As I shared in the letter I wrote to you in July, we have had less mission participants this year, which has lowered the amount of income we use to run Dorie’s Promise. Giving our children an exceptional education experience will be the first thing we will have to cut if we are not able to raise the funds to keep it in place. Of course, we want the best education we can possibly give our children … but that can’t come at the expense of feeding, housing, and caring for them.

The school year in Guatemala runs from January through October. We currently have 15 children of school age who are excited to start private school in January.

The average cost of sending a child to private school is $1,700 per year. This amount covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation. The total cost for the 15 children ready to attend private school this January is $30,600. The cost to continue to employ a full-time Child Development Director as well as preschool teacher is $25,000 per year.

Imagine being able to give your child a life-changing private education for only $140 per month.

I would like to invite you to help us give our children an EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION experience through your kind giving. Our goal is to raise $55,600 by December 31.

Jennifer loves going to school.The children are growing so fast and we understand that someday they will be leaving us and try to find their place in the world. Our goal is to give them the tools to have a full and meaningful life outside our home.

These are children who have come from the city dump, off the street, or abandoned by family members who are unwilling to give them the care every child needs and deserves. We shelter them, feed them, love them like they are our own — but we also want to continue to give them the gift of EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION that will impact their lives in so many different ways … both now and for many years into the future.

Again, thank you for all you do for our children. It is your heart and passion that drive this ministry forward and allow us to change the lives of the children in our care. I hope to hear from you soon. Everyone on our team would like to see us meet our goal of raising $55,600 as quickly as possible so we can make sure our plan for 2016 is solid and ready to execute. Help by giving today.

God Bless,
Heather Radu

Giving Children Opportunities to Play, Learn and Dance!

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Nailey Soto in her dance costume

Even the older girls got into the dance spirit.We were recently contacted by a non-profit organization called Traveling Tutus.  They donate gently used ballet costumes, tap shoes and ballet shoes to underprivileged children.  We gave them sizes and favorite colors for the girls at Dorie’s Promise. They sent us back dance costumes and shoes for every girl at our home. Shortly after we sent Traveling Tutus our information we also received some donations for dance classes for the girls. One of the donors told us she was “so excited for the children to have this activity.”

Another donor sent us this note: “I know the little girls will be so thrilled with the costumes and shoes. We are blessed to be a part of this work at Dories.”

Childhood is a stage when we create in our minds fantasies and ideals, of what we would like to do and be, most children develop their talents according to their abilities and interests. It is a time for exploration and wonder.

However, most of the children who come to our home come from a hostile environment where parents spend all of their time and energy just trying to put food on the table. For many families in Guatemala, the first and the only interest of parents is to bring food home, there is no time for the children to play, or go to school. It’s a hard lifestyle where children mature faster and childhood barely exists.

Ana showing off her dance costume.Life at Dorie’s Promise is so much different. Besides the opportunities to play and receive an education we want to help our children to discover what they like to do, experimenting in different areas where they can develop their skills.

The Dorie’s Promise education program, in addition to facilitating schooling and offering homework tutoring, includes also offers the children different activities such as: tennis, ballet and karate lessons. This has been achieved due the support of many different people, like those who donated for the dance classes. The added donations from Traveling Tutus, the girls are even more excited to explore the opportunities to learn to dance.

We are delighted to see them happy, pursuing their dreams, and overcoming personal challenges and their own limitations. Each one of our children was created for a purpose. God gave us the gift of life and He sent his son, Jesus, that we all could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10.)

We have witnessed the changes in each child’s life. The work that Forever Changed is doing through all children lives has a meaning. Everyone participating in that work from our directors, staff, special mothers, drivers, mission trippers, sponsors and donors – each one has contributed to lives changed!

Visit our Facebook page to see more pictures.

A New School Year

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Your donations allow all of this for our children — resulting in a better education, and a better life!

Bryan and Lester are still attending a special needs school in which they are developing their skills and receive the extra attention they need.Education is very important to a child’s development. That’s why Dorie’s Promise puts an emphasis on our children’s education. We want to prepare children for the future so that they can give testimony of God’s grace for the opportunity to study — one that many children in Guatemala would like and need, but do not have.

This year most of our children are attending school to fulfill that necessity and requirement, according to their developmental stage.

In Guatemala, the school year is from January to October. Thank God, we have had a successful and blessed year in 2014 — all the children from our home who are old enough to start their academic education are attending schools that fulfill their needs!

As you may know, Nayeli, 16, has finished Guatemalan high school and is now studying to be a Bilingual Secretary!!! Bryan and Lester are still attending a special needs school in which they are developing their skills and receive the extra attention they need. Sylvia is going to a regular school now called La Academia! She is adapting really well and is very excited about her new friends. The rest of the kids are going to a well-known private school in Guatemala called El Shaddai.

Ready for a new school year.The little boys and girls are eager to learn how to read and write, and they love to read storybooks at night! Several of the girls, including Ana, Maria Jose, and Jennifer, are very responsible with their homework. As soon as they come home from school, they are sure to get started — so that they have time to have fun in the afternoons playing ball, tag, or games.

Your donations allow all of this for our children — resulting in a better education, and a better life! What’s more, we have even been able to fulfill each one of their needs for school supplies: backpacks, lunch boxes, uniforms, and shoes, in addition to the books and all the materials they need.

Thank you SO MUCH!

While we have secured their education for the 2015 school year, your continued generosity will help us make sure we can offer them the best possible education in the years to come. Please consider giving a special gift today for the education of our children.

Celebrating Advancement in Education

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Nayeli Lux at her Junior HIgh graduation

By MJ Zelya-

Nayeli Lux, Franco and Maria are moving up to new levels in school.The school year starts in January and ends in October in Guatemala. This year we’ve been very blessed at our home: children have been reunited with their adoptive parents, we have new children whose lives can now be forever changed, and we received many missionaries who have come to contribute to the work we do. Three of our children also graduated to another educational level. All of which fills us with satisfaction and pride.

The children are also very happy because they know they are building their futures step-by-step. Marking accomplishments like this keep them full of motivation and give them perseverance to make their lives better.

Education is an essential part of their development. Giving them the opportunity to have a quality education allows them to build a different future, one that can transport them out of a cycle of poverty. The goals and achievements of our children are truly stepping stones to a better life.

Being a part of their lives while giving them the support they need to accomplish their goals is one of the tasks we are committed to at Dorie’s Promise — to help and improve their level of education and to build good citizens with godly values.

Maria walks down the aisle at her preschool graduation.This work changes lives forever! It motivates us to move forward in what we do for the children of Guatemala.

The children whose accomplishments we are celebrating this year included Nayeli Lux, one of the older girls, who finished junior high and is now moving on to high school. She says: “I’m so happy! I’ve had a hard time in school but with the support of the moms and staff and my faith in God, I know I can achieve my goals for the future.”

Maria and Franco graduated from preschool, and next year they will attend elementary school. They are so excited to be growing up. They know next year they’ll be able to play with bigger kids, and Maria is excited to see her sisters at recess time. Maria says she wants to be a doctor when she grows up … Franco says he wants to be a police officer.

Lucky, a teacher at Dorie’s Promise, says, “It’s so touching to see all the kids getting good grades — they take advantage of every moment at school to learn. They always do their homework neatly. We support them as much as we can so that they are successful in their education.”

We are so proud of them as they move on to this next step of their lives. We are also very grateful for the sponsors and supporters who help make this all possible for our children. If you want to help secure a good education for the children at Dorie’s Promise, you can give a special gift to our education fund. You may be able to give $125, $75, or $50. Whatever the amount is, let us, together, give our children the opportunity to grow spiritually and academically through the best education possible.

Education is Part of a Life-Changing Experience

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Our teacher helps a student with his writing.

By MJ Zelya –

Our teacher with several of the older grils from Dorie's Promise.God has blessed us with having had more than 200 children in our preschool classroom throughout the years. We give them the opportunity for not only education, but the chance to experience positive attention from teachers as well. At Dorie’s Promise, we try to educate our own children with love, understanding, tolerance, and logic. We try to make children happy while they are learning.

Our children typically start preschool at three years old; some of them at a later age because they entered Dorie’s Promise without any other schooling. In that case, we adjust their schedules so that all children can learn at the level they are currently at.

Lucky Perez started at Dorie’s Promise as a Special Mother and has been the teacher since April of this year.

She also teaches the four- to 12-year-old kids who come to Dorie’s Promise without any schooling, supports the other children with homework help, and works with the teens who are doing distance school.

“It was very difficult for me to get used to all the different needs of each system of school,” says Lucky. “It was a challenge for me. As I met more of the kids and they received support/tutoring with homework or activities at school, I have seen the fruits of the work. I like being a part of their lives. It’s rewarding seeing them happy and fulfilled in school activities.”

Teaching basic skills and helping with homework.The children of Dorie’s Promise need to feel loved and supported in school. As they do, they excel. Their skills improve, and their schools even offer their congratulations on the way we take care of the children. In addition, we love the way El Shaddai, the private school most of our children attend, takes such good care of them.

“For as much as I’ve used my knowledge to help their lives, they contribute in a special way to my own life. They have taught me to listen more and to see life in a new light,” Lucky continues.

“A story that filled me with great joy was one time at the science fair. All our children had to attend with costumes as scientists. I think just getting one costume is difficult, but six kids was a bit tricky — thankfully not impossible. With the materials we had on-hand to complete all the costumes, they were happy … but none of us ever imagined that the teachers and the other students would be so surprised and excited to see everyone dressed up. It was indescribable to see their happy faces — and that fills me with satisfaction.

It’s exciting to know that our children receive such personalized attention in their education. That, in addition to the opportunity to attend private school, means many of our children are preparing for the future — a different, better future than they would have had without Dorie’s Promise … and without the help of supporters like you.


Silvia Gets Tennis Scholarship!

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Silvia at Tennis Practice - Dorie's Promise Guatemala

By MJ Zelaya-

11240117343_679d79eb3a_cSilvia, age 8, has always been known for being very intelligent and energetic — ever since she was a toddler, in fact. At school she excels in her PE classes (we had noticed she was very good at sports). She loves running, jumping, and the challenge of athletics. That gave us the idea to enroll her in a football (“soccer” in the U.S.) clinic during the last school break, from October to December. She did very well!

In October, we were able to arrange a scholarship at the Tennis Club of Guatemala, located only 5 km from our home. Silvia was very excited to start learning a new sport!

Dr. Castro plays tennis often and had previously arranged a tennis clinic for our children. He encouraged Silvia in her new endeavor and even donated a racket for her. She was beyond of excited!

Since then, Silvia trains every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for one hour. Her coach, Virbes Pascual, who teaches children from 8 to 12 years old at the club, said, “Silvia is a very skilled and athletic girl. She has very good coordination for this sport and easily handles the requirement of our practices. I’m sure that Silvia could become a competitive player in the future if she had the proper support.”

13106611614_d28f0c4e1a_cSilvia says that she likes tennis, but still enjoys other sports like soccer and basketball. Tennis allows her to run a lot and hit the ball hard, and that why it’s her favorite. She says her coach is a very good person — very patient and friendly.

Thanks to the support of many sponsors, our home is able to provide further education and opportunities for our children. Silvia has a chance to master effort, persistence, and perseverance, qualities that will help her achieve future goals. It’s what any parent would want for his/her child, and we are so pleased we can offer it to Silvia.