By Ricardo Ajpuac, CFCA staff member in Guatemala
A group of 134 mothers are helping CFCA sponsored children in the Guatemalan community of San Lorenzo, San Marcos, write letters to their sponsors.Many of these mothers were only able to complete the primary level of education. Only a few were able to study in middle school.
ìI only studied up to fourth grade where I learned to read and write, and now I am putting that into practice,” said Ilcia, one mother. “Although I cannot write very well, I want to help.î
Mothers have used this as an opportunity to feel significant and involved with their community.
After CFCA staff members explained more about how to write a good letter, moms now meet in advance to plan all activities on the day of writing letters to sponsors.
Each sponsored child has two notebooks. One is for writing the letter draft, and here the mothers can make observations and corrections.
The other notebook is for writing the corrected letter. This second booklet also keeps records of all the letters that the sponsored child has written.
In addition to notebooks, the children come prepared with pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, crayons, etc.
Every child comes to a mother’s home according to previously arranged schedules.
Mothers welcome the children to a place already set up with wooden chairs and tables so they can sit and write their letters.
Every mother provides personal attention to every child, answering questions, comments, corrections, etc. Each sponsored child receives a tasty snack at the end of the activity.
Each mother attends to a group of 10, 15, or 25 children; all the children live close to the chosen motherís home.
Before the mothers’ help, staff would stay two and a half days in a community addressing a group of sponsored children with their letters.
Now letter writing is done in a single day or a few hours.