While Andrea and I were envisioning what types of programs we'd like to start during our first year of giveDIGNITY, we kept talking about scholarships for young people from La Carpio. Kids here drop out for a variety of reasons, but number one on the list is financial. Primary school is mandatory and paid for in Costa Rica, but families must pay for school uniforms, textbooks and school supplies. For some families in poverty with multiple children, they're forced to decide which children go to school.
That's why we've decided to engineer a scholarship program for young people in La Carpio--picking motivated students with at least one parent who's interested in their child's education--to give a scholarship to cover the aforementioned costs. We envision a child-sponsorship program similar to Compassion International or World Vision, where sponsors can connect with a student and make a direct impact in their lives.
In light of these plans, I was especially excited to see this article entitled, "Fostering a future generation of leaders" and read its conclusions that child sponsorship programs are a good investment. The article references a study by Bruce Wydick, professor of economics and international studies at San Francisco University. He concludes that not only does sponsorship work, but it contributes directly to participants developing into leaders.
Here are a few more of the conclusions from the study which you can download here:
This is very encouraging news about ways that we can fight the effects of poverty through education. Check back on our blog or contact us here for more information about the program were developing!
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""At the margins is the only place the Church will have credibility."