Jan 30 2012

Sponsored children get school supplies in Central America

The school year for Central American countries starts in January or February, and parents have been shopping the last few weeks for school supplies.

CFCA sponsored child Mauricio in El Salvador with school supplies

Mauricio, 6, is a CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador. Here he displays his school supplies purchased through sponsorship benefits.

For families living in poverty, however, school supplies can cost more than the families are able to afford. Usually the cost ranges between $50 to $60.

Families in the CFCA sponsorship program sometimes earn as little as $100 a month or less. That means buying school supplies would consume around half of their monthly income.

Here are two CFCA sponsored children in El Salvador, who obtained school supplies this year through sponsorship benefits.

Mauricio (interview with his grandmother, Antonia)

Mauricio lives with his mother, his two sisters and grandmother. His mother works as a security guard and is paid $180 a month. His grandmother sells vegetables and fruit and makes approximately $60 per month.

What does it means to your household budget for CFCA to provide these school supplies?

It means a lot, because it is expensive to buy something for the child. To buy what CFCA has bought for him, we would have to work so much and this is all good quality and expensive. Everything that was given to us, shoes, backpack and supplies are a big help. The child is already wearing the school shoes because he likes them.

What would you have to give up if you had to buy these items in the store?

Well, it would mean that he would have to use what the government supplies. These do not last long, and by the middle of the school year we would have to buy new ones.

What does it mean to Mauricioís self-esteem to know he can attend school with the required supplies?

He is very happy because he is going to take his new shoes to school. He is already wearing them and the sports shoes, but I have put them away because I don’t want him to ruin them.

One day I saw him looking at himself at the mirror with his backpack on. Since the children chose their backpack, he chose the one with cars that he really likes.

He can’t wait to start school.

Jose (interview with his grandmother, MarÌa)

CFCA sponsored child Jose in El Salvador

Jose, 12, is a CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador.

Jose lives with his grandmother and aunt’s family. His aunt is the household provider and works on a coffee plantation. She makes $110 a month.

What does it mean to your household budget for CFCA to provide these school supplies?

It means that Jose can go to school with all that he needs. I wouldn’t be able to give him all that he needs, but now he can go with no worries.

He is very diligent at school, and I know that he will do his best with all of this.

What would you have to give up if you had to buy these items in the store?

We couldn’t afford not to eat if he goes to school. Whatever he had would be enough for him, but we cannot give up food.

What does it mean to your children’s self-esteem to know they can attend school with the required supplies?

He was really happy when it was given to him. He feels complete; he has his shoes.

He wants for school to start on Monday so he can wear his new shoes and backpack. Thanks to his sponsor, Jose is able to have everything this year.

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