El Jicaro CarePoint

El Jicaro is a community located in the department/state of El Progreso in Guatemala. It lies within a very dry zone of the country known as the “arid corridor” – a geographical zone receiving little precipitation. The average temperature oscillates between 86 to 104 degrees throughout the whole year.

Cases of malnourishment or stunting are not uncommon among children attending the local elementary school. The main reason for this, is the work situation of the parents in the community. Usually, children eat one to two times a day, but the meals are not very nutritious. Families often experience difficulties in getting a formal job. As a result, they struggle to feed and provide the basics for their family. In the area, there are some job opportunities, but often these jobs pay only day wages or are seasonal, which doesn’t provide stability. The school dropout rate in El Jicaro is 72 %. That means, of every 100 children who begin elementary school (first grade), only 28 will get to High School. This phenomenon has to do with the fact that the parents don´t see the value of education and would rather have their children working with them to get needed income for the family. Access to public health services is also deficient. Children get sick from common illnesses, such as stomach issues, flu, a lack of hygiene at the home, and illnesses resulting from mosquito bites. The lack of access to clean water results in diarrhea being the second most common cause of death in children under age seven. The houses in the area are made from wood, cinder block and corrugated metal sheets. Some are made of plastic and adobe. One of the problems in the community has to do with air contamination and pollution.

Community Assets:

  • Human resources are a large asset. There are many women in the community who are willing to work.
  • The Evangelical Church is involved in all the community activities with volunteers committed to the transformation of their community.
  • The CarePoint has been working in the community for six years and has credibility.
  • The CarePoint has a building to host various programs and projects.

Number of Friendships Available:
150-200

Other Partnerships at CarePoint:
None

Initial Programs for First Three Years:

$70,875 annually

Friendship Model Program (formerly known as, Sponsorship)
If 70% (or 105 of 150 children) are supported, there would be minimal to average ongoing programming. We will establish an annual plan; with people and resources needed; a community leadership team; Friendship Model relationships; discipleship; educational, nutritional, and medical support (varied, basic); monthly reporting; and some training for youth, parents, guardians.

$101,250 annually

Friendship Model Program (formerly known as, Sponsorship)
If 100% (or 150 of 150 children) are supported, there would be full programming with regular discipleship, nutrition, education and enhanced medical support. There would also be ongoing social/emotional support; available funds for “Succeed Initiatives” such as income-generating activities, and revenue-generating activities training; seed money; cultural celebrations; additional training; and ongoing impact reporting.

Discipleship: Teach practical areas of life such as identity, health, community and economics, all of which are based on Biblical principles so that each child recognizes their own responsibility in seeking a life of dignity and purpose.

Nutrition: Ensure that children receive a nutritious meal – initially, two times per week – to fortify the diet of students and, thereby, improve their learning and school performance. In three years, we plan to increase this up to five times per week.

Education: Help the educational process with a tutoring program during after-school hours. At the same time, we want to involve the parents in the educational process. To accomplish this, we want to conduct three training sessions during the year where qualified people will be invited to share with parents about the value of education. We will integrate technology in the learning process after COVID-19 ends and new school regulations are issued, giving them access to internet, printing and photocopying materials and access to a tablet to download their homework.

Health: Improve the quality of the health and nutrition of the children attending to the CarePoint. This will help them increase their attention span in class and improve their school learning.

Women’s Empowering Cooperative:  Empower the women at El Jicaro, giving them the tools and the skills necessary to generate an income to support their families, manage their time to be with their families, and learn how to be good stewards of their own money, in a Biblical manner.

Bakery: Use of the facilities to host vocational training for the children/youth and some parents and teach them how to create and run a business. This initiative will help provide food for the nutritional program, but at the same time generate income for the families involved.

Computer Center: In order to help with the development of the community, we want to open a computer training center. People leave this community and go to the next community in order to learn how to use technology. We want to give them different opportunities here to have access to better jobs.

Community Savings Groups: Create a community that will learn to save according to Biblical principles. This will help the families to manage their finances wisely, and will help them achieve their goals without falling into debt. At the same time, they will be discipled in areas such as: Bible-reading, taking responsibility, keeping commitments and generating personal savings.

Chicken Coops: The objective is to train families to raise chickens and then, start a business to improve family income. We not only want to launch family-level businesses, but also create a co-op amongst all the participating families in order to maximize their business opportunities.

Estimated Project and Program Cost Over 10 years

Friendship Model Program costs, based on 150 kids over ten years, if at:

  • 70% $810,030.38
  • 100% $1,157,186.25

Supplementary Program Cost (education, food, medical) –

Total Estimated for 10 years: $334,375

  • Discipleship: $43,402.50
  • Education: $82,638.75
  • Nutrition: $125,000
  • Health: $37,500.00
  • Vocational: $45,833.75

Estimated Costs of Largest Projects:

  • Women’s Empowerment Project: To empower the women at El Jicaro, giving them the tools and teaching them the skills necessary to generate an income to support their families, manage their time to be with their families and learn how to be good stewards of their own money in a Biblical manner. This program is design to teach a maximum of 20 women during a two-year term, and they will decide if they want to be a part of the cooperative, at the end. (Total cost of the project: $10,625.00 for two years)
  • Bakery: Use the facilities to create both vocational training for the children/youth and for some of the parents to create business(es). We want to run a business to improve the incomes of the families involved. This initiative will help provide food for the nutritional program but at the same time income for the families involved. (Total cost of the project: $21,875.00 for two years)
  • Computer Center: In order to help with the development of the community, we want to open a computer training center. People leave the community to the next community to learn how to use technology. We have the computers and the idea is to begin a small business and be the first computer center in El Jicaro. In this center, we will be able to teach the basics of computer, MS Office, and establish a printing and internet business. (Total cost of the project: $19,062.50 for two years)
  • Chicken Coop Project: HopeChest’s mission is to restore dignity to vulnerable children and their communities and enhance their self-sustainability. It is an innate desire for parents to provide adequate nutrition for their children, but many parents who live in extreme poverty experience shame or devastation when they cannot fulfill this desire. This can occur through agriculture and animal husbandry projects in which impoverished individuals in a community take ownership of crops or raising animals and are no longer dependent on others to give them food. When parents learn how to cultivate their land or grow animals to sustain themselves, the positive effect in communities will change the future. The objective is to train families to raise chickens, and then start a business to improve family income. We not only want to launch a family-level business, but also create a co-op among all the participating families in order to maximize the business opportunities. This will be done with 20 families, once a year for five years. (Total cost of project: $87,812.50, or $17,562.50 per year)

Our intent here is to provide a brief overview of the ideas and vision for this community that are hoped to be realized while we continue to work, train, and implement effectively. The items and estimations in here are based on historical programming and project costs, in similar areas (if applicable), archived over time, in the country and are subject to change. For each CarePoint and community, a formal Community Profile and Risk Assessment will have been completed by our staff before we begin programming. Those factors, combined with the vision and dreams of the community, are combined to form a comprehensive plan for this community over time. Every project cost that has been listed will be evaluated with a formal proposal and evaluation when it comes time to fundraise and implement the project.

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