El Oreganal CarePoint

El Oreganal is a small community in Teculutan, which is in the Department/State called Zacapa. This is part of a very dry zone of the country known as the “arid corridor” – a geographical zone receiving little precipitation throughout the year and usually characterized by very hot weather.

As a result of the impact of this geographical zone, the community has difficulty getting enough food each day to adequately feed their families. Cases of malnourishment or stunting are not uncommon among children attending the local elementary school. 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. Most of the jobs offered are for the harvest seasons on melon plantations, watermelon plantations, or with construction. El Oreganal has two public schools, one for elementary and one for telesecundaria (high school taught remotely, using TVs). The only high school with diversified studies is outside the community and not many students can afford to go there due to the associated expenses.  The dropout rate in El Oreganal is 97%, that is, of every 100 children who begin elementary school (first grade), only 10 continue into middle school and only three finish high school. This phenomenon has to do with the need for incomes in the families. Thus, the children need to work because the parents don´t see the value of education and would rather have their children working with them to get extra needed income for the family.  At the same time, the community does not have any vocational schools.  Access to public health services is also deficient. Children get sick from common illnesses, such as stomach issues, flu, a lack of hygiene at home, and illnesses resulting from mosquito bites. The lack of access to clean water often causes diarrhea. Currently, most of the houses in the area are made from wood, cinder block and corrugated metal sheets. There are some made of plastic and adobe. One of the problems in the community have to do with air contamination and pollution. Most members of the population at El Oreganal have no drainage in their homes and most do not have septic tanks. This phenomenon contributes to the many different illnesses.

Community Assets:

  • Human resources are a large asset. There are many women in the community who are willing to work.
  • There is land available for purchase to run various programs.
  • There have built strong relationships with the COCODE (local leadership), and the Evangelical Church.
  • The pastor of the church is respected in the community and is respected and recognized by the leaders of the community (COCODE).
  • This Evangelical Church is involved in all the activities with volunteers committed to the transformation of their community.

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: Integrate the parents in the educational progress. The intention is to complete the educational triangle: school and students and parents. Conduct three training sessions during the year where qualified people will be invited to share with parents about the value of education. 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 the 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 their school learning.

Women’s Empowering Cooperative: Empower the women at El Oreganal, 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.

Construction: In order to have good  environment and a dignifying place to serve the children, we need to provide a septic tank or biodigester, bathrooms and a kitchen at the CarePoint.

Estimated Project and Program Cost over 10 years

HopeChest Friendship 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: This project will empower the women at El Oreganal, 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. 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)
  • Septic Tank and Bathrooms: As mentioned previously, the community doesn´t have basic drainage services. The CarePoint doesn´t have bathrooms for the children. In order to give them dignity, we believe that all the CarePoints need to have adequate facilities. (Total cost of the project: $10,277.78)
  • Kitchen: The kitchen will help the CarePoint to have an adequate place to cook and serve food for the children. It will have a place with necessary conditions and all the equipment needed to cook meals for 150 children.  It will be a safe place to cook, without contamination (right now they cook using wood). (Total cost of the project: $15,500.00)

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.

Merry Christmas from your friends at Children’s HopeChest!

Give a meaningful gift this Christmas season to support children who live in some of the world’s most impoverished communities with the resources they need to survive, thrive, and succeed.