By Maria Soledad, Project Founder & Director
- Maria (R) first student (L)
working in a Home for girls, I observed that cases are commonly divided in three
groups: First, girls who had no family;
second, girls who
were not safe in their homes because of violence or abuse;
third, girls who were taken away from
their families because they could not provide
food or a safe place to live. Many
of these girls could go back home if
parents follow judge instructions, get a better job and improve their living
conditions. This Project is focused on parents of girls of the third group, who
need to get ready to get their girls back in their house.
is the Chance Project Important? Most of these
parents were abandoned or abused kids, with no education opportunity, people
with no opportunity to learn job skills. Most
of the mothers are single, so they leave their kids alone or under not
responsible adult supervision.
is the Chance Project? We contact parents
through Home Social Workers to see if they meet
the requirements and have shown interest and determination to get their kids
back. After being referred, their situation will be evaluated (job
skills, experience, education, interests
does the Chance Project Work? A
bring information of three places
to study. Chance personnel
will visit the suggested places and evaluate them to choose one.
The parent will receive a scholarship. Their work, attendance and
responsibility will be supervised. Parents
will not receive the money it will be paid by us directly to the schools. They
will be responsible for their own transportation expenses. They also will attend
a monthly meeting in the project's office to learn about administration,
nutrition, health, emotional support and encouragement. We'll also share the
Good News of Jesus in these meetings.
can help? Everyone, even though, it is
important to get Guatemalan community involved
in the raising money. Sponsors will be informed periodically.
I am working with the first student of The Chance Project already; she is a 29-year-old mother of five girls. The father of the girls left and she is faced with the responsibility by herself. She works in a tools store. If she sells, she earns money, otherwise she won't. She went to the judge and asked for help. The girls were sent to a home for girls. Her father abandoned this mother at the age of nine. So she only got to the third grade. At that age she started selling candies in the street, cleaning a restaurant and the tools store. None of these jobs could give her the money to feed 5 girls.
came to my office one day and said… “I wish I could study”… so she
became the first person in The Chance Project.
She came back three days later with three booklets of beauty schools she could
go to. We decided together that she
should go to the one that is authorized by the Ministry of Education. She is
already earning money with the new career. Her girls are back home; she will be
graduating this November. Her name is Zuly Elizabeth Zamora Contrera.
Students for 2017...
Katy, Berta and Maria Luisa are studying sewing; Lidia and Maria Ana are studying cooking; Jacinta and Dorita are in beautician school and Elsi is studying English as a second language.
A Success Story of Giving One a Chance
By Director Soledad
Maria Ana entered the Proyecto Oportunidad (Chance Project) to study cooking at a difficult moment of her life. The land she inherited from her parents where she lived was stolen and her husband abandoned her and their children. She had no place to live, a family to feed and the only job she had: sell tortillas, which one can only profit around Q30/day ($4/day). She got a scholarship from us and started studying in 2016. I explained how the scholarship process was supposed to be followed and that she would have our support to study the rest of the year. During that first meeting with the teacher, we were asked to provide her a pair of shoes because sandals are not safe in a kitchen. (Photo L-R: Soledad, Ana)
She finished that first year with great grades. She showed she was committed to it. The trainer suggested Ana should continue studying the next level in cooking school because she was determined to learn and succeed. We decided to give her the chance. Ana was the first lady who received a scholarship for a 2nd year in bakery school.
In January 2018, we were contacted by a home for girls, "Lazos de Amor". They wanted us to teach their students work skills. So we decided to give Ana the chance again. We offered her the job and an extra course so she could learn even more. Ana trained the girls in the home for two months; the directors of the home were very pleased and grateful.
I am very excited as I write this story especially because it ends in a great way. Maria Ana is selling bread in her community but also teaching other ladies how to bake. God is not only showing His purpose for Ana's life but for Proyector Oportunidad...we are opening a bakery in Sumpango, Guatemala where Ana will work and teach other ladies...isn't it amazing?
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