Before you answer, let’s first consider how many years most of our children spend in school. For many, we’re looking at 13-14 years to start, plus another four for college and potentially more after that. Some of our kids will spend upwards of 20 years in school.
How many years do kids in Haiti and Guatemala spend?
And those four years come at a cost, too. In Haiti, families must pay tuition for each child in school; in Guatemala, tuition is charged after 6th grade.
At 40% primary school completion rate, Guatemala is ranked lowest in Central America. 10% of students complete lower secondary school and only 8.5% pursue higher education. There are further disparities between genders and in rural areas.
In Haiti, approximately 35% of youth are unable to read. The government has little to no involvement in closing this gap.
Because Haiti and Guatemala are some of the poorest places in the world, families need “all hands on deck” to make a living and keep food on the table. A child in school means one less set of hands to help run the family business or till the fields. After just a few short years of schooling, children are often forced to drop out in order to work and relieve the family of school expenses (such as tuition, books, supplies and uniforms), which present a significant financial burden.
Children who leave school to work become trapped in the cycle of poverty that has shackled their family and community for so long. Education is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty and transforming individuals, families and communities. Children who receive a quality education open their world to immense possibilities.
PID’s child sponsorship program helps kids stay in school well beyond the average completion time by covering the cost of school expenses and providing medical and nutrition care, which are essential to fostering learning. Once they reach high school age, our higher education program jumps in to help them complete their education and even go on to college. These programs are changing lives and transforming families by making education accessible.
- Learn more about our child sponsorship programs in Haiti and Guatemala
- Learn more about our higher education programs in Haiti and Guatemala
As the school year kicks off, you’ll probably find yourself waiting in the school pick-up line or sitting in traffic behind a frequently-stopping school bus. In those moments, image what it would mean to have only four years of schooling in your entire life. And, maybe, as you gather last minute back-to-school supplies this year, consider throwing a few extra items onto your cart. Our list of needed supplies includes everything from medical supplies and clothes to soap and peanut butter, and helps PID continue serving the poorest of the poor through educational support and many other programs.