Guatemala (ORO/MNN) –He’s going to be an attorney. She’s going to be a doctor. And they’re going to change history.
Josue and Heidy (pictured left) are both sixth graders at the Ravine School in Chimaltenango. They are enrolled in Orphan Outreach‘s computer training program. Every Tuesday, they enter the sparsely decorated classroom and sit behind the newly donated laptops that are transforming their lives with every keystroke and mouse click.
Less than one-third of all children who begin primary school in Guatemala will complete it, due largely in part to the number of families who who live well below the poverty line. But both Josue and Heidy have been given more than an education at the school that serves the indigenous poor in the working-class town located on the Pan-American highway cutting through the mountainous country. Through child sponsorships and generous contributions that have provided computer technology in the classroom, they’ve been given vision.
An hour away, in a slum neighborhood in Guatemala City, second-graders sit, staring intently at the screen. Little hands on keyboards at Precious Moments School mimic the movements of the computer-generated instructor.
F. Space. D. Space. S. Space. A. Enter.
Every stroke on the keyboard opens the door of opportunity a little wider. Typing is now a requirement for students who plan to attend secondary school in Guatemala. Few children have access to computers at home, so the classroom filled with both new and refurbished desktops and laptops is a lifeline to hope.
And the benefits of computer technology reach more than the students. Melissa is principal of Precious Moments. “Watching what is happening here – in this place – keeps me here. I love teaching, and love watching our students learn.
“The computers are so important to the students. This lab allows them to learn more, and learn more quickly. They will no longer be behind other students – and that is something that excites them, and me too.”
For Charles Naul, an advocate of the work being done by Orphan Outreach globally, providing computers is a ministry. “I had good parents, an excellent education, many teachers and others that shaped my life and a great career with one of the premier companies in the world. One of the most satisfying projects is to work with orphanages to provide quality laptops and software that allows these children to have an opportunity to gain skills and give them glimpses into a world where they can use their God-given abilities. They need visions of what is in the world awaiting them. I feel that there are inventors, doctors, teachers, programmers, and all sorts of talented young people who just need the vision and opportunity to succeed and follow their calling. When I work hour after hour to refurbish an older donated computer, I visualize the children that will be using it and wonder about the marvelous things God has in store for them—grateful that He has permitted me to have a small part in His process for their lives.”
Back in Chimaltenago, Josue practices creating and saving documents. Luis, the assistant principal at the Ravine School, smiles. “Computer access has allowed our children to see how other people live and work around the world. Their world has gotten so much bigger.”
Josue pauses for a moment to share his dream. “One day, I will be a lawyer who helps people wrongly accused. I want to help free innocent people from prisons so
they can be with their families.” For Heidy, the desire to be a doctor has strong personal ties. “I’ve seen so much hurt in my family – so much pain. I’m the first one in my family to go to school. And I will be the one to help.”
You can be part of the transformation taking place in schools and children’s homes where Orphan Outreach serves. Just $36 a month ensures a child the essentials needed for a good education. And if you, your church or organization would like to learn more about providing computers, contact Amy Norton, Orphan Outreach Director of Programs.
Orphan Outreach would like thank the generous donors who have made possible the donation of computer labs in our programs in Guatemala and around the world (Charles Naul, Jessica Martinez, Amy Simmons, and Judy and Wilson Williams).