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Manisha Gurung

Manisha-Gurung.jpgManisha Gurung is 11 years old and lives in an impoverished village in Nepal. She and two of her sisters were provided with CHOICE scholarship along with all the children of the school. Her family is involved in agriculture but doesn’t own any farming land. They do share cropping and work for others for their survival. Sharecropping land is generally the least fertile land because the owners keep the fertile land for themselves.

Manisha’s father, the only bread winner for the family, is not home most of the time and her mother has a mental illness. The family has been bearing a huge financial burden treating her illness. 

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Omar

Omar.jpgOut of Omar and his nine siblings, only four have a secondary education and Omar is the only one with a post-secondary education. A teacher saw his potential and helped him continue his studies where he received a scholarship from CHOICE Kenya. Director “Mama Rita” went on to help him navigate college. Omar now teaches in Sambururu and is able to support his extended family and provide career guidance to local youth. Pongezi Omar!

 

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Strong Women and DownEast

Carlota-1.jpg“As humans we are all equal, and we should treat others as such, and honor every race, religion, culture, and belief with the same respect that we expect others to have for ourselves.” Julie, Store Manager for DownEast Home & Clothing.

DownEast has been our corporate partner since 2009 focusing on gender equity in the Polochic valley of Guatemala.  Strong female role models are important in their staff and philanthropy efforts as well as a shared core value. Their partnership is a great example of how consistent small actions can lead to big lasting change. Find a comfortable chair and get to know six strong, amazing women.

Thank you DownEast for being our guest blogger this week!

 

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Sikaabe Cabin

Sikaabe-cabin-1.jpgCHOICE Guatemala has completed the first cabin at Sikaabe – our new vocational training school located in the Polochic Valley. These cabins will be a source of revenue for the school and are located on a ridge overlooking the most amazing scenic view that you will ever see! Soon these will be promoted and marketed as a resting place for overnight tourists that visit this area. Students studying hospitality at Sikaabe will provide a first class visit to guests, and 100% of the revenue will be used to help Sikaabe become self-sustaining. Sikaabe, which is Q’eqchi’ for Seek Your Path, broke ground in 2014 and started animal production in 2015. Felicitaciones CHOICE Guatemala!

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FeelGood

FeelGood.jpgFeelGood is not just incredible college students running successful social enterprises – grilled cheese delis, they are an official partner of CHOICE. This youth-led movement is working with us to end extreme poverty by turning college into a time of effective global action where students raise money and build public support for the end of extreme hunger and poverty.

Katy Mullis is a FeelGood volunteer and after recently returning from Nepal where she worked with locals, she wrote a blog around the concept that chronic hunger, most often caused by extreme poverty, is when individuals do not have the means to nourish properly themselves to ensure they have healthy, productive lives.

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Education as a Gateway to Social Change

Social-Change.jpgPrem Kumari Prajuli is a 79-year-old widow. She was married at 11 and a widow by 12. When her husband died, she was too young to realize that lasting impact of how that would shape her life. Even after the tragic event, as a tradition she had to live with in-laws. She feels fortunate to have in-laws that are caring and respectful. She has devoted her life to caring for her nephews and nieces, and they now take care of her as she is getting older.

She can read and write because she self-studied and attended adult literacy classes in the evening, but she never had the opportunity to go to school. She knows education is the key to social change – like child marriages and eliminating extreme poverty. 

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In Youth We Learn - Guest Blog

In-youth-we-learn.png“In youth we learn” – not only a popular quote but incredibly accurate when it comes to many of the bright young people that support us. Sydney is just such an individual. After returning recently from Mexico on an expedition with ASEA, Sydney developed, and blogged about, five critical findings relevant to anyone no matter their economic standing or education level. She also was quick to recognize that after all the hard work, a woman deserves a refreshing Coke.

Thank you, Sydney, for being our guest blogger this week! Her five critical findings here!

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A small garden with a big job

Nazacota-Puento-School-Garden-320x198.jpgA small indigenous school in Ecuador has been working with us for the past year and a half on vegetable and animal farming. This rural school is attended by 147 children ages 3-16. Before we helped them implement their program, 60% of children were undernourished.

Now the school has a 500 sq.ft. garden that grows a wide variety of vegetables like kale, chard, beets, lettuce, zucchini, carrots, and onions. The food is used only to feed the children. They have also implemented a guinea pig farm for additional food and grow alfalfa to feed the guinea pigs. The teachers and the students have been trained on how to care for their garden and guinea pigs, and the garden has reached a production rate of 5.4 lbs of food per square meter!

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Fabiola`s Story

Fabiola-480x198.jpgMaria Fabiola Churuchumbi Sandoval lives in a small village in Ecuador where two or three families live together in one-room adobe houses. Each family has a plot of land that has been passed down as a heritage of their ancestors. Fabiola and her community members in the village cultivate the land for harvesting, using what they grow to feed their families. When they have extra, they sell it in local markets or exchange it with other families.

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Nacional Instituto Telesecundaria Basic Educacion

Telesecundaria-Basic-Educacion.jpgLife can be tricky when you’re living in extreme poverty. Everything seems like an uphill battle. The expense of education and the time that it takes away from household chores is often a stumbling block. This is particularly true for girls.

If you live in the poverty belt in Guatemala, and you are one of the lucky ones to graduate from primary school, there is nowhere close to continue your education, and the cost can be prohibitive.

However, in 2009 CHOICE Humanitarian opened the Nacional Instituto Telesecundaria Basic Educación opened, and that was a game changer. Serving students from 12 to 16 years old.

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