Los Amates CarePoint

Los Amates is located the department of Izabal. It is located at 73 meters above sea level. It has large extensions of flat land as part of the Motagua River Valley and also has mountainous terrain toward the Sierra de Las Minas, which extend toward the border with the Republic of Honduras. The number of inhabitants in the Los Amates community is approximately 4,800, including two communities that are adjacent to the urban area: Barrio el Tipón and Colonia Santa Isabel. The CarePoint works with four small slums close to the main city.

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 at the community. Usually children eat one to two times a day, but not very nutritious meals. According to a census in 2015, the chronic malnutrition and amenia rate in Los Amates is 22 %, the fourth highest death cause in the department/state of Izabal. 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 per season, which doesn’t provide stability to a family’s economy and compels people to search for alternative ways to survive and generate additional income.  Most children in Los Amates begin working at seven years old, in small shops, plantations, in farms or the market to help with the family income.  The dropout rate in Los Amates  is 78 %. Of every 100 children who begin elementary school (first grade), only 22 will get to high school. This phenomenon has to do with the need for incomes in the families, and thus, the children need to work because the parents don´t see the value of education because they rather have their children working with them to earn income for the family. Access to public health services is also deficient.  Children get sick from common illnesses, such as stomach issues, flu, and illnesses resulting from mosquito bites, a lack of hygiene at the home, as well as, a lack of access to clean water. Respiratory infections and intestinal parasites are the two most common causes of death in children under 10. Currently, most of the houses in the area are made from wood, cinder block, and corrugated metal sheet. There are some made of plastic and adobe. One of the problems in the community have to do with contamination and pollution. Most members of the population at Los Amates  have no drainage in their homes and most do not even have septic tanks. This phenomenon contributes to the many different illnesses.

Community Assets:

  • There is a big source of human resources. There are a lot of women in the community who are willing to work.
  • The pastor and the church have a lot of local connections .
  • The Evangelical Church is involved in all the activities with volunteers committed to the transformation of their community.
  • The pastor of the church is respected in the community and is respected and recognized by the leaders of the community (COCODE) and the Municipality Major.

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: We want to integrate the parents in the educational progress. The intention is to complete the educational triangle: school and students and parents. The CarePoint will conduct three training sessions during the year where qualified people will be invited to share with parents about the value of education. They will also 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: The main purpose of this program is to 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: This project will empower the women at Los Amates, 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.

Small Shop: What we want to achieve with this is to provide jobs to people at the community, but at the same time help with the CarePoint operation costs.

Community Savings Groups: Create a community while learning 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, fulfilling commitments and learning to save.

Agricultural Projects: At the church, we have land available to do agricultural programs.  Local agriculture authorities will help with the training for the program and provide all the seeds necessary to begin planting. At the same time, we can begin raising small animals for sale and establish businesses to help with the economies of the families.

Chicken Coops: The objective is to train families to raise chicken, 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.

Estimated Project and Program Cost over 10 years

HopeChest Friendship Program costs, based on 150 children 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: $125,000.00
  • Health: $48,750.00
  • Vocational: $45,833.75

Estimated Costs of Largest Projects:

  • Women’s Empowerment Project: To empower the women at Los Amates, 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)
  • Chicken Coop Project: HopeChest’s mission is to restore dignity to vulnerable children and their communities and enhance their self-sustainability. 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. 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. When parents learn how to cultivate their land or grow animals to sustain themselves, the positive effect on these communities will change their 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 once a year with 20 families, over five years.  (Total cost of the project: $87,812.50, or $17,562.50 per year)
  • Small Shop: What we want to achieve with establishing a small local shop, is to provide jobs to people at the community, but at the same time help with the CarePoint operation costs. (Total cost of the project: $67,708.75)
  • Agricultural Projects: HopeChest’s mission is to restore dignity to vulnerable children and their communities and enhance their self-sustainability. This can occur through agriculture projects in which impoverished individuals in a community take ownership of crops and are no longer dependent on others to give them food. When parents learn how to cultivate their land to sustain themselves, the positive effect in communities will change the future. The objective is to train families in agriculture, and then start a business to improve family income. At the church, we have land available to do agricultural programs.  Local agriculture authorities will help with the training for the program and provide all the seeds necessary to begin planting. (Total cost of the project: $87,812.50)

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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