Gangs riots and retaliation are rampant against the police force, leaving little room for safety or justice. Recently in Guatemala City, a notorious gang known as Bario 18, attacked the police force, wounding many and leaving 3 officers dead.
According to the UN Refugee Agency’s regional office in Panama, “Children are particularly at risk. They are trapped between these two gangs that are constantly fighting, and this leads people to try and find safer places to live…this has a long-term impact on their education and their lives.”
And while these statistics are alarming, we have the ability to make a difference. We can reduce the effects of violence and give children a chance to succeed through the gift of education.
End Gang Violence with Education
We can help end this violence by providing a safe place for the community, families, and education in Guatemala. A quality education drives social and economic change and gives children a hope for the future.
Education is essential to ending violence in Guatemala because it:
Keeps Children Safe
Children in school are less likely to be recruited by gangs because it keeps them safe and off of the streets.
Education provides an opportunity for a better future, higher learning, and enables individuals to be a part of their communities.
A quality education teaches children important intrapersonal and interpersonal skills for life.
Empowers the Community
Education strengthens and supports the community.
At school, Guatemalan children can connect with their peers and build stability. As their skills grow, they can become future leaders, doctors, and teachers to empower their community. Every $1 invested in education and youth skills in developing countries generates $10-$15 in economic growth.
Increases Earning Potential
Education opens new doors of opportunity and increases the chances of children developing careers.
If all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty!
Providing Guatemalan children with the tools for critical thinking and skill development improves their quality of life, breaks the cycle of poverty, and gives them an opportunity to become leaders within their communities.
For many Guatemalan children living in rural, poverty-stricken areas, an education is the only hope for a positive future.
Guatemala Has Low Literacy Rates
Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has a failing education system. In many poor communities, school fees for tuition, textbooks, uniforms, and supplies make it difficult for parents to send their children to school, resulting in low literacy rates.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), nearly 31.7% of the country’s 12 million populate are illiterate, with illiteracy rates up to more than 60% in the indigenous population.
Education Keeps Children Safe
Guatemala is rated in the top 25 most dangerous places to live in the world and has one of the highest violent crime rates in Central America.
Education keeps children off the streets and in school. It provides an opportunity for a better future, higher learning, and enables individuals to give back to their communities.
Education Invests in the Economy
With a quality education, children in Guatemala are able to increase their earning potential and become leaders in their community as they grow.
Education helps liberate individuals, families, and entire communities from poverty by opening new doors of opportunity and increasing the chances of developing careers. In fact, every $1 invested in education and youth skills in developing countries generates $10-$15 in economic growth.
Give the Gift of Education
When you give the gift of education, you give Guatemalan children a chance to succeed.
Join Global Education Plus as we partner with organizations in Guatemala to provide education and resources to students and teachers, empowering them to pursue their dreams.
At 46, WWII veteran and pastor, Malcolm Eudaley, started traveling the world, searching for a new adventure. While visiting St. Peter’s Square in Rome, he realized a big transformation was coming. He wasn’t sure what it was but knew it would change him and the way he viewed the world.
Soon after, he created Global Education Plus. As a non-profit, GEP partners with organizations in Guatemala with one goal in mind: to end poverty through education. In a recent interview, Malcolm discusses the creation of GEP, what inspired its vision, and how it has helped children and teachers in Guatemala succeed.
Why did you start Global Education Plus?
November 1969, I was standing in St. Peter’s Square when the Pope came out to bless thousands of people. After it was over, I said to my wife, “There’s going to be a big change in our lives, and I don’t know what it’s going to be.” For 22 years, I was a pastor in three different churches and knew I wanted to make a career change, but didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do.
After the trip to Rome, I was traveling the world and looking for opportunities to connect with people. Then I connected with the Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI). They focus on strengthening underdeveloped schools and helping educators and students, and I just knew it was a good fit for me.
I began networking with them and traveling overseas investing in education, textbooks, conferences, copiers, and teacher training, and over a 20-year period we made 50 trips and raised over $600,000.
ASCI asked us to go to Guatemala, so I would take small groups, and we’d visit 2 schools a day looking for ways we could help. We were shocked to see the school lacked classroom equipment and teaching materials, but they made do with what they had, and successfully. During this time, I met some of the most extraordinary people who are doing the right thing and against all odds. People like Sandra.
Sandra is highly educated and could have done something more lucrative with her career, but she chose to help the community and serve others instead. She began a school, Liceo Cristiano Ciudad Santa, in her garage in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Guatemala City. Over the years, the school has steadily grown and now has 150 students.
With GEP’s help and the donations of our supporters, we were able to give the school 10 new computers.
What’s your hope for the future of GEP?
I would like to see GEP have the ability to help more with specific needs. I think expanding the scholarship program, training more teachers online, and strengthening the local school’s budget is important in helping Guatemala succeed. When we help others with their needs, they in return are able to meet their life goals, serve more students, and have a safe environment filled with education.
It was one of the worst neighborhoods in Guatemala City.
There seemed to be an overarching sense of hopelessness as I made my way through the area. Dilapidated homes were on every corner and people were pouring out into the streets, too.
As I drove up to the Christian school and saw it for the first time, I was overcome by emotions. On the outside of the school, there was a sense of sadness. A fence surrounded the property, heavy bars were on all the windows, and a solid, steel door stood before me. On the outside, it looked no more a school than a prison. My heart was heavy. However, I knew God’s intentions lead Global Education Plus here.
Once I entered the school, everything changed. Infectious smiles of the students and teachers greeted me as I visited the simple classrooms. Throughout the school, there was a pervasive climate of hope and expectation. The school didn’t have much. But, there was plenty of laughter and joy. It was a beacon of light among the gloom of Guatemala.
It’s amazing that one building with nearly 150 children captured the essence of GEP’s values. This school was a concrete demonstration of our vision and mission.
That day, it became clear. Those children and teachers needed help. They needed us, too.
Now more than ever do we have the chance to transform Guatemala through education. And I humbly ask you to join GEP as we work to end poverty in Guatemala. I am asking on behalf of the children and teachers who need our support. Equally important, we can provide the much needed tuition, textbooks and other educational resources. Help GEP reach our 2017 goal of raising $50,000 to also empower the community. Give children the chance to succeed.
Abdias is from Huehuetenango in northern Guatemala. He graduated from Tabernacle of Faith high school and attends the Universidad Mariano Galvez de Guatemala in Huehuetenango. His father left the family five years ago so his mom and brother’s contribute what they can to helping him with college expenses. Abdias He has two brothers and one sister and he credits his older brother with encouraging him to pursue his dream. In fact, he hopes to become a neural surgeon when he graduates from medical school.
He attends a church called Iglesia de Dios Evangelio Completo – Casa de Amor. Also, he plays trumpet in the church music team; works with the TV ministry and works with youth. He is also treasurer of his Youth Group. Abdias always has a wonderful attitude about life and a strong faith that God will provide for his needs and help him achieve his goals.
His total cost for one year including fees, registration and books is $1125 in American dollars. He lives at home to save money. In his spare time he loves to play ping-pong. He won second place in a country-wide, individual performance tournament in ping-pong. His brother is a sports trainer in this and Abdias has helped him train children in ping-pong in their local gym.
Your donations have made a difference in Demi’s life
Demi is our first student scholarship recipient. She graduated at the top of her class from William Cornelius high school and currently attends the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala in Guatemala City. Demi is one of two children in her family. Her mother works as a teacher to support the family because her father is an alcoholic who does not contribute much to their support. Demi praises her mom with always providing her and her brother with opportunities to read and learn.
Demi attends an evangelical church where she has been involved in children’s ministry for 9 years. Also, she and three of her friends started a prayer group in her school. Demi’s creativity allows her to participate in archaeology and art competitions, winning first place.
Demi credits her uncle, who was like a father to her, with encouraging her to pursue her dreams. She chooses the career path of medicine with an emphasis on oncology because he died of cancer four years ago. She wants to work toward a cure for cancer. Demi is in her third year of medical school taking a heavy load. The school year in Guatemala whether it’s public schools or universities is from January to November. In her fourth year she hopes to intern at the hospital near her school while continuing to study. Demi tells us that in order to become a doctor you must have 3 years of theory, 3 years of hospital internship and 3 years of specialty. She is relying on her faith and trust in God to help her move forward.
Elsa represents the best of the best in a developing nation. We first met this school teacher and principal when she was a 32 years old widow. Her school, the Berea Christian School had an enrollment of 150 children in the highlands of rural Guatemala.The school board would always meet with us on our visits and share their well organized financial records along with a report of the actions they were taking to give the school proper direction, too.
Elsa’s young husband died of a brain tumor two years prior to our meeting. She invited us to the small house that she and her husband had purchased prior to his illness. It sat on two lots and one of them was vacant. There we ate a simple meal with her.
On our second visit to Elsa, our team visited her home again. This time she invited us to see her back yard. There she showed us the adjoining lot. A work crew poured footings for someone’s new home. She sold the land in order to pay her husband’s medical bills. She donated to her church as well as her school. We stood in amazement as she told this story. As we walked back to the school we didn’t say much. On our arrival, standing at the edge of this school property, Dr. Chris Halvorson stopped and simply said, “Okay fellas, it’s time to empty your pockets.” Our organization had already given her a gift. When we emptied our pockets we had $2,313 to share with Elsa and her school children. We gave the gift at our final meeting with the teachers and children in a chapel service.
GEP Building Project
The school board was present. They showed us their budget needs to finish the second floor of a twelve room school they were building. The budget need was $2307 and it was graciously supplied with our offering. They used the additional money to complete the third floor of this masonry school building.
Over the years GEP has shared scholarship funds with Elsa in order for her to complete her college degree at a University in Guatemala City. Each Saturday morning at 4:30 a.m. she would board what I called a chicken bus to travel to the University. The buses packed with people, chickens, coffee beans, produce and kids. The drive to her university was a three hour drive one way. Elsa attended four classes with a break for a sack lunch she brought along. Then in the evening she would be back on the bus for the long journey home. Elsa completed her degree program under these difficult circumstances.
On our last visit to Elsa’s school she took our Team to her home again. There had been no improvements made to her house. It looked the same. Simple. When our visit was over we had a moment of prayer with Elsa. While we were standing in a circle fervently praying a fast moving thunder storm enveloped the area and rain came down in torrents with water pouring through the roof in a steady stream into the center of our circle. We continued praying, finished up and returned to Elsa’s school.
Written by Malcolm Eudaley, Founder.
Donate today to help other teachers like Elsa succeed.
Since 1993 Global Education Plus (GEP) has provided transformational experiences to students and teachers in some of the most economically and educationally challenged countries in the world. Thousands of children have been given opportunities through its efforts,too.
It will be Dr. Bob Drummond’s privilege to continue the rich history of our founder, Rev. Malcolm Eudaley, as well as bring together people and resources that provide hope and possibilities to children in harsh circumstances. Our financial assistance to these children open the door to address their educational, spiritual and physical needs.
GEP has forged strategic partnerships with organizations such as the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Leadership Development Institute (LDi) that has helped us to leverage your dollars to maximize their impact on children’s lives.
My entire career was spent in the non-profit sector of education and children’s services. Dr. Bob Drummond has personally witnessed the life-changing effect of philanthropy that has been invested in children. It is my commitment to see that your gift will achieve transformational impact through stretching your dollars in countries whose economy is such that American dollars have a significantly higher “buying power” than they have in the U.S.
We encourage you to allow us to provide transformational experiences. Help GEP move these children from poverty to successful and productive citizens in their respective countries.
Thank you and may God bless you!
Dr. Bob Drummond’s Summary and Qualifications
Post-doctoral leadership training at Harvard University
Background encompasses over 30 years of highly effective and successful leadership experience that includes exceptionally strong skills in financial management and leadership development.
Demonstrated the judgment, drive, work ethic, creativity, decision making skills and strategic abilities to exceed expectations in every leadership role held.
Excellent communicator, collaborator, team and consensus builder, vision maker, results oriented, high energy multi-tasked leader with excellent interpersonal skills.
KidsTLC, OLATHE, KS 2001-2014
President and CEO
Responsible for providing dynamic leadership to a staff of over 235 employees that serve thousands of children and youth each year. Provide leadership to a 33 member Board of Directors, 13-member Foundation Board, and Board of Advisors. Initiated a Board of Directors’ orientation program, community relations, annual giving and grant writing programs, business plans and established a TLC Charities Foundation. Rated among the top 3% of charities in America for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Clinically licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Counselor. 30 years of clinical practice.
Raised over $50 million in annual, endowment, and capital gifts. Built and remodeled eight buildings.
Campus capital improvements of over $20 million in from 2006-2013.
Purchased Kansas City Behavioral Analysts to jump start our Autism program.
Exceeded $6.95 million goal for 2009-2012 campaign and built a 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art wellness center and initiated Behavioral Health & Autism programs.
Designated among the top 3% of all U.S. charities for financial management by Charity Navigator.
Refocused the agency on our primary mission; created a highly successful strategic plan; reinvented resource development department into one of the most successful in the region; developed new funding streams, new programs, increased clients served by 350% since 2003.
Exceeded the 2005-2007 $7.9 million capital campaign goal by $2.8 million and more than doubled the size of the TLC campus.
Collaborated with USD 233 for them to build a state of the art 14,000 square foot school on the TLC campus plus purchased two tracks of new land to expand the campus.
Raised funds to develop 1st class IT system and world class website.
Acquired KEYS Youth Services including $1.2 million in assets and $1.5 million in revenue.
Marketing, rebranding and media plans that have created unprecedented recognition for KidsTLC and additional funding streams such as 5 federal earmarks.
Created a significant employee benefit package, purchased new accounting, fundraising and client management software, and eliminated all deferred maintenance on campus.
Established TLC Charities Foundation with a $2.3 million endowment, $1.3 million in planned gifts and healthy operating reserves
Held a number of leadership positions on elected and volunteer boards for over three decades.
Zoar is our third recipient of the international student scholarships program. She is from Guatemala City, Guatemala. She completed high school in 2013. After graduation, her family moved to Honduras. Currently, she is attending a university there.
She loves children and is studying medicine with hopes of becoming a Pediatrician some day.
Thanks to your donations, Zoar’s dreams came true.
You can help students like Zoar earn an education in Guatelama.