Giving Back — July 19, 2016

Mema’s Dream

by Susannah McQuitty

Mema grins over her crayons as she follows her dream to read and write.

Exciting news from our friends at Healing Waters International (HWI): within the last month, HWI went back to Jocotán, Guatemala to revisit one of its clean water sites. The news they brought back is incredible! Check it out:

We are thrilled to announce that after only four months of operations, the water store in Jocotán, Guatemala has already surpassed all expectations and is filling approximately 100 jugs each day. In fact, the demand for water is so high that they have already maxed out their system capacity and used some of the store revenue to buy an additional ultrafiltration membrane in order to double their capacity. Their hope is to continue to grow and be able to serve more of their community.

Because the store is doing so well, our site partners, the Mineras, have also been able to use the revenue to fulfill their desire to turn Gethsemane Children’s Feeding Center into a school. At Gethsemane they are now teaching kindergarten and first grade to 18 marginalized children who would otherwise be unable to attend school. Their vision is to add one grade each year, so the children already enrolled in the program can continue moving up.

For one little girl in particular, attending school at Gethsemane is the realization of a long-held dream. Mema has enrolled in first grade at her local school every year for the last three years, but was quickly forced to drop out each time because her family couldn’t afford the required supplies, or because she needed to go to work washing clothes with her mother. But Mema never gave up on school. In fact, she says she wants to be a doctor.

When she first enrolled at Gethsemane in December, Mema couldn’t even tell the difference between numbers and letters. Without special tutoring she wouldn’t be able to move past the first grade. So, in addition to her daily school lessons, Mema began receiving after-school tutoring from Armina Mineras to help her catch up. Just 8 weeks later, Mema was reading at a first-grade level. She can write out whole sentences dictated to her, sound out all the Spanish syllables, and read two syllable words at a glance. Extremely excited by her progress, Mema shows no signs of slowing down.

We are so grateful for your support of this ministry, and for believing in kids like Mema. Because for her, clean water has made all the difference. It has changed the way she is seen and the way she sees herself. It has broadened her opportunities and her outlook for the future. It has given her hope and determination. It has allowed her to thrive and to begin pursuing her dream.

We are so pumped to be a part of this amazing organization! Mema’s story is just one of many that wouldn’t have been possible without clean water. Now, Mema’s community is thriving, sustaining itself, and building a better future for its children through education. How great is that?

And just between you and me, we may be getting pretty familiar with the Jocotán sites ourselves fairly soon. Stay tuned!

For more inspiring stories and updates, check out Healing Waters’ site.





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