Friday, February 4, 2011


The organization I work for, Mountain Top Ministries, utilizes individual student sponsorships to provide a nearly* free education to the students at its two schools. People in the United States and Canada commit to sponsoring a child at one of the MTM schools for $25 each month. This money provides the student with quality teachers and administrators, some of the necessary school supplies, access to health care through the MTM clinic, and a hot lunch each day.  Sponsors initially receive a profile card of their student, including a photo and some information about the child's life. After that initial profile card, MTM sends an update on the child twice a year. We have the students write letters to their sponsors (the little kids draw pictures), and also include a recent photo with one of the updates.

Recently I helped with the process of writing correspondence. I had my high school students write their letters in English. We have all the students write letters to sponsors, but not all of them have sponsors. In fact only a little over half of the students attending school actually have sponsors.

*Students are required to purchase their uniforms, books, and pay 75 goudes (less than $2 US) each month for lunch. It's my understanding that the parents decided they would start paying for the uniforms and books a couple of years ago. Requiring the families to pay a small fee for lunch and for their books and uniforms gives them a sense of ownership in their children's education instead making them feel like it's a handout. Instead of being ashamed that they must rely on others to educate their children, they feel a sense of pride that they can provide something for their kids.

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