Friday, May 21, 2010

A Parting Gift, UPDATED

We've got about 2 weeks left of our life here in La Ceiba, Honduras. It's been an amazing 3 years full of ups and downs. We've grown accustomed to many of the idiosyncrasies of living as foreigners in a different culture. We've been given one beautiful son, and we leave Honduras with two more little ones on the way.

The country of Honduras has given us beauty. The rainforest, the beach, the islands and reef, the mountains and hills- it is truly a special place. The true beauty, however, has been in the people we've encountered here. We've discovered friends in unlikely places and been blessed with kindness by countless people.

For me, personally, one of the most special people I have encountered is Zeke's nanny, Belkis. This young woman has come into our home and our lives with a contagious smile and a can-do attitude. She's a single mom who rides her bike instead of taking a bus or taxi. Belkis completed high school about 10 years ago- a true feat for a girl in the public school system here. Everything about her is wonderful, but what is most wonderful to me, is that she loves my son. She really loves him, and he really loves her. She's taught him Spanish, dances to silly songs, and hides behind the sofa for him to find her. Zeke is enamoured. Belkis has given me peace of mind every day as I head off to work, because I know my son is going to have a fantastic day with one of his favorite people in the world.

I want to thank her in a big way. This is something I've been thinking about for many months now. About two months ago, I thought of something I could do- from one mother to another, that might make a difference. You see, Belkis has an 9 year old daughter who is just as bright, cheerful, and funny as her mom. This little girl doesn't miss a beat. She's smart too! Whenever she has a day off of school, she comes with Belkis to our house. Zeke loves having this energetic firecracker around. I love having her around too- except it means one thing. Usually when the little girl is here, it means school has been cancelled- again.

Honduras has a public school system that does not work. The teachers are on strike often because they don't receive their paychecks from the government. I won't go into all the faults of the school system nor will I pretend to understand all of the reasons it is the way it is. All I know is this- Belkis would love to put her daughter in a private school here. She could give her daughter- who desperately wants to learn- an education where the teachers come every day. It would be a place where there is a seat for every child, and teachers are motivated to help the kids learn. Private schools here (not the big bilingual schools) cost roughly $100 per month. For about $1000, this little girl might have the chance to attend classes more than 50 out of the 180 designated school days per year. It would make her mother proud.

I had hoped to be able to help sponsor this little girl's education. I know that $1000 would change this little girl's life, and possibly her future. Belkis will continue to work in Honduras after we leave, and support herself and her daughter. However, for most people here, finding work that pays an extra $100 per month is beyond difficult.

I had hoped that our little family could handle the expense of an extra $100 per month to put aside. Due to the rapid increase in our family size, and the rapid decrease in number of working parents in the house, I'm afraid Tom and I won't be able to do this alone. I am asking for anyone who has enjoyed reading our blog over the past 3 years to consider helping us change one life here before we leave Honduras.

If you can afford $10, $25, or even $100, your donation will go directly to a scholarship fund for Belkis's daughter. I promise that your money will be put into good, honest hands. My goal- lofty as it may be- is to raise one year's tuition- $1000 in 10 days. Can you please help?

We'll keep you updated as we work toward our goal.

Thank you all so much!


We received the first donation over night. Thank you so much!

****UPDATE****SUNDAY MAY, 23****

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Day One was a huge success. Over $200 in donations will pay for two months of school for a very special little girl. If your generosity today can match donations received yesterday, Tom has agreed to do something ridiculous and or embarrassing. He's already shaved his head, so that's out. He's actually open to suggestions. We do have video capabilities. Maybe a video of a performance of Old McDonald filmed at the local Burger King? Something like that. Any ideas?


Chris Nelson said...

I posted this on my facebook! I challenge everyone to post this link and help give this gift to a great Honduran family!

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

I am curious, is this money going to the mom with the hope that it will be spent on education and not other family needs (as important as they might be) or going straight to the school? I am interested in contributing, but wondering about how this works...

Karine and Tom said...

Good Question, LSLS. That is definitely something we have considered.

We're going to be leaving the money in the care of a trusted Standard Fruit executive and friend. She manages other similar scholarships.

She will deposit the money directly in the school bank account and give the receipts to Belkis for registration.

Honduras Sprout said...

What a wonderful gift you are going to be giving!

Laurie said...

Hurrah to you. I am in agreement that the public system is a complete failure. I am hoping God raises up partners on her behalf. I work with so many here in Tegu that I can't commit but in heart I am with you. Peace to you, Laurie