Our guest blogger today is Teresa Larsen - a dental hygienist, a long time CHOICE supporter, and humanitarian. She recently returned from an expedition to Guatemala with our partner Dr. Roy Hammond with Smiles for Life. This organization trains men and women in extreme rural areas around the world in basic dental skills. In this blog, Teresa talks about her path and her personal challenge.
There are people in this world that do crazy, unthinkable things to make the world a better place. Elijah is one of those people doing crazy things. He lives in the Silaloni area of Kenya - outside of Mombasa. Kenya is one of the countries where many people live on less than $1.90 a day. Extreme poverty is defined by the World Bank as living on an average of US $1.90 a day or less. Families in these conditions represent well over a billion people on the planet, with nearly double that amount living on less than just $2.50. But, poverty is more than a lack of income. Extreme poverty is multidimensional.
Personal determination is a characteristic highly sought after by CHOICE Humanitarian in its recipients. Susmita Gurung, a CHOICE recipient from Nepal that displayed a high level of personal determination has a story worthy of sharing. Susmita, a 17-year-old girl from the village of Bangre, has a goal to help others by becoming an English teacher. She has faced many hard situations almost from birth but is still determined to attain her goal.Read more
Sikaab’e is a state of the art technical school and it is the only one of its kind in the Polochic Region and provides education and training for farmers and high school students ages 14-18. Increased education and vocational training gives the locals the opportunity to stay in the community, to find a better job, or to create a business. Appropriately named, Sikaab’e means “Seek Your Path” in Q’eqchi’ and encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.Read more
Prem 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.Read more
A 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!