You and I both know the way to break the cycle of poverty is through education. In Costa Rica you can voluntarily drop out of school at the age of 13 and if you do not pass the 6th grade by the age of 14 you are kicked out of the public school system. Additionally, Costa Rica is a very agricultural society. It wasn’t uncommon to have parents forcing children to leave school to work out in the fields.
Currently only 4 out of 10 Costa Rican children actually finish high school. The government is trying to discourage children from dropping out and is actually looking at raising the age at which you can voluntarily leave school. However, this is a long way off and would require structural changes.
In the meantime proper education is a very real problem in Costa Rica and many children drop out due to monetary reasons. With that in mind, we have continued to expand our scholarship program and currently provide about 20 scholarships and continue to accept applications. For many of these kids it is literally the difference between staying in school and leaving to go and earn money for the family.
In addition, our GED education program has been up and running in Carrillos since April. Many of you have worked in the newly finished classroom at the Methodist church. I can tell you that we didn’t waste ANY time putting it to use!
We are employing school teachers and experts to help teach folks that are looking to finish their educations. We are currently offering primary, 7th grade, 8th grade, and GED classes to help students that are out of the public school system to further their educations. Students in these classes range from 15 to 60 years old. Including some grandparents who want to demonstrate the importance of education to their grandchildren
We are gearing up to start another round of education classes and we look forward to growing this service. Over the next couple of years we would like to offer tutoring for children that are still in school as well, to avoid seeing them in our GED programs later.
As of right now we are about $39,000 short of our feeding and education budget to get us through to February of 2014. Some pledged donations have been coming in, but we are grateful for every donation that we receive. God has truly blessed us in this area and we are excited to continue to reach out to the community through our education programs.