Let me provide a little information before I share my observation from this week. We have learned the parents will respect our expectations if they have some responsibility in their child’s education. The parents are responsible for buying the P.E. uniform, shoes, and transportation. The transportation is $0.70 per day and the uniform and shoes cost about $35. We provide everything else for the children. What if they can’t pay for the transportation or uniforms? A family member can volunteer at the school in the kitchen or cleaning. One day of work is equal to 2 weeks of transportation. In addition, the volunteer receives breakfast and lunch. They also have until July to pay for the uniforms.
Many of you know the older man, Juan, who is responsible for the garbage at the mission house. Juan’s great-grandchildren, Juanchito and Erica, go to our school. In order to pay for transportation, their aunt worked for 2 days in the kitchen.
The aunt, Marta, is malnourished and needs any possible extra nutrients. On Tuesday, we serve grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken soup to the children. (This was a huge crowd pleaser.) I told the aunt, Marta, to take the time to eat her lunch. She gladly fixed a bowl of soup. I watched as she discretely walked over to where Erica was sitting in the lunchroom. Erica had finished eating and was simply waiting to leave lunch. The aunt asked her if she wanted more soup. Erica shook her head “no” indicating she was completely content. The aunt insisted she needed more soup and poured the soup from her bowl into Erica’s bowl.
A few minutes later I asked Marta if she had eaten her lunch. She smiled and said “Yes!” I told her she could have another bowl of soup. She gladly served herself a “second” bowl of soup.
Erica’s aunt gladly sacrificed her lunch in order to care for niece.
Does $1.30 a day in order to serve a child breakfast and lunch make a difference? Absolutely YES!
Juanchito has been in the feeding center program for many years. He has not been successful at school as he failed fifth grade. He would also be labeled as an “at-risk child”.
Daisy has worked at the feeding center for the past 2 years. She has the advantage of knowing the behavior and stories for all of the children. Daisy is now Juanchito’s fifth grade teacher. Yesterday afternoon, Daisy said, “Deidra, I have already noticed a change n Juanchito. He seems much happier and I really think he is going to be successful in school.” (On the first day of school, Juanchito ate 3 pancakes, a banana, a nutrient drink, 2 tacos, beans, and corn! He did not go home hungry.)
Does a loving environment with caring teachers make a difference? Absolutely YES!
Thank you Jeff and Nancy Westendorp for being such a great influence in the lives of Juanchito and Erica!
Do you want to provide breakfast and lunch for a child for only $1.30 per day? Simply go to Colegio JET–Food Sponsorship to give a gift designated for food.