By giving children the chance to go to school, and young women the opportunity to attend university, we inspire a wider world view and the prospect of a brighter future. In particular, we focus on educational opportunities for girls, often the most overlooked and disempowered people in rural villages and elsewhere. We make site visits to screen and select each educational organization to ensure all are led by local community leaders who are experienced, honest and hard-working.
We partner with two small, grassroots organizations to provide university sponsorships for young women in two regions of Guatemala with large indigenous Maya populations: Antigua and Lake Atitlan villages. Historically, the Maya living in Guatemala have experienced discrimination and continue to live in extreme poverty. We provide sponsorship support for young Maya women to attend university.
Amigos de Santa Cruz supports the communities of Santa Cruz la Laguna, located on Lake Atitlan. Executive Director Jessie Cohen and a dedicated staff comprised almost entirely of local women and men operate education and youth programs to equip future leaders with the tools they need to improve their own communities.
PROGRESA, an organization based in Parramos (just outside of Antigua), provides university sponsorships for impoverished Maya youth, especially from rural areas. Very few of these students are able to obtain a higher education in their communities. Sponsorships pay for tuition, room and board. Access to higher education brings choice into the lives of young women and the opportunity to be social change agents in their country’s growth and economic development.
CCI’s program partners in Vietnam grew their organizations organically: each founder saw a glaring need and started an educational program to address it. The Children’s Education Foundation (CEF) provides sponsorships and mentoring for girls from primary school through university; Hearing and Beyond is a school for deaf and hearing-impaired children in a region where they would otherwise receive no education.
CEF enables girls living in poverty to attend school, boosting their chances of a life with meaningful choices and expanded opportunities. Education in Vietnam is free but the price of school fees, uniforms and required “extra tuition” tutoring classes prevents many young girls from ever entering the schoolhouse.
For a majority of deaf and hearing-impaired children in many parts of Vietnam, going to school is not a possibility. No learning sign language. No making friends. No playing on sports teams with other kids. The resulting inability to communicate (even with family members) leads to social isolation, typically a lifetime of poverty and low self-worth. Hearing and Beyond transforms this trajectory by providing high quality education for hearing-impaired children.