Since I started Make Money Your Way mid 2013, I took a pledge to give 10% of my blogging income to support children education in my village. As you may have read in a previous update about the project, I gave two scholarships to the best two students of middle school so they can go to high school 150 miles away for the next three years.
The expected cost for boarding school is around $2,500 per kid, per year, so $15,000 over the next three years. Yep, I need to make $150,000 blogging :).
Last time I updated I had $490 left after all the summer projects, plus $574 from September’s income, I have $1,064.
Computer and reading project
The Spanish girl who gives the computer classes was also my cleaner at home, and when she quit I was concerned she would drop the computer project as well. Thankfully, she was happy to continue. I used to love teaching when I was in Europe, but for some reason I think my patience has faded. If she quits, I wouldn’t leave the kids hanging and would give the classes myself, although I am not really looking forward to five hours in a hot and humid classroom three times a week. I did it a few times when my brother was around. The kids are adorable, they love to learn and they sit in complete silence, listening like you are some kind of genius who can master computers, it is quite weird. And they are really happy to come to computer classes, they drop everything to get their hour of internet every week.
In order to give everyone access, we recently rotated the groups, to admit more students who had wanted to join. There are now about 70 kids getting one hour each of computer time every week. Thanks to a reader donating one more computer, we were able to reach even more kids.
Teacher salary and internet data plan: $205
Boarding school kids
It took me about 8 months since they started boarding school, but I finally made it over there to check out the school! It is a lovely place.
Acres and acres of land where the school has well kept buildings, and also animals and produce growing, to be partly self sufficient.
Each student has to contribute three hours a day to running the school. So agronomy students wake up at 4am some days to milk the cows, while others walk almost 3 miles inside the school grounds (it’s huge!) to harvest tomatoes. My students were doing kitchen and cleaning assignments when I came.
For that they earn a very small wage of $0.15 per hour, with which they buy some sweets at the school’s shop (giving the school its money back haha) during the weekend. They only come back once a month to the village.
Both students looked really happy and showed me their rooms:
It is pretty Spartan, with just a bed, desk and drawer per student. The girl has a private bathroom for the four who sleep in the room, while the boy has shared showers with the whole room.
They are doing very well and getting good grades, but they work a lot. At 9pm they shut down the lights and they go study some more in a common room that remains lit. Then they wake up around 530am, they have a mandatory church service, breakfast, six hours of classes, lunch, then community service and more studying in the afternoon.
Boys and girls are together in the classroom, but they eat separately and are never mixed unless a teacher is present. On Saturdays, they can eat lunch together, and on Sundays they go to church together. The morning church is separate. They have a lot of activities like theater, music, and computer classes every week.
They told me they were impressed that the classes were never cancelled, the teachers never on strike, and teacher meetings were held at night as not to bother studies. A far cry from the village school where strikes last 2 months and every week there is something disturbing the class.
They worked so hard the girl I sponsor got an award for academic merit and good behavior (sixth from the right)
I think what makes me the proudest is she was able to send me an email with the picture attached, as she is 15 and didn’t have computer classes before, I think she is learning a very valuable skill.
As usual, I paid the $478/month for the both of them.
Last time I mentioned that between boarding school and the computer classes (paying the teacher and internet plans), I spend over $680 a month, and that is more than 10% of my blogging income. So I was asked if I would drop the kids if I stopped making money, or didn’t make enough. Well, of course not. So far I have been receiving generous contributions from readers who enjoyed the project and friends who visited, but if that were to stop and I “only” made $1,000 a month blogging, meaning a $100 contribution, I would increase the contribution so the kids can graduate from that school. unless they do something very wrong and get expelled, they are getting a full ride for three years. The first year ends at the beginning of November, two more to go.
But I hope the blogs will generate enough to cover it all, so once more, thank you for reading this, and making this blog popular, you are also indirectly helping my project! If you want to hep directly, or have an old laptop you would like to donate please email tdmpauline at gmail dot com THANKS!
Total spent: $683
Total left: $381 . I am almost in the red, so let’s make more money!!
Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says
That is very inspirational! That gives me an idea to donate or to impart something I have. Helping others is something we should really do now like donating for ebola patients. Or helping our community in need is really a good start.
Yes, there is plenty that can be done locally, via the church, the soup kitchen, the salvation army…
Mrs. Frugalwoods says
What a wonderfully generous thing to do! I’m sure the kids are deeply grateful to you. And, how great that you were able to visit the school and see how they’re doing. Very inspiring! Now, I hope you make more money blogging :)!
That’s the plan! Thank you for your kind words.
How To Save Your Money says
God bless your soul! I just wish we had more people like you. Keep on being an inspiration 🙂
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
I love this project, it’s really inspiring. Those pictures are really something. I used to be a camp counselor and kids would show up to camp for three weeks with TONS of shelves and suitcases and other stuff. I would love to compare and contrast that to this simple bed and chest.
I was surprised to see how basic it was since it is the fancy private school for the whole department, so I thought they’d have nicer rooms. But at least it was clean and safe.
Anne @ Unique Gifter says
It’s fascinating to me that the kids have no access to computers… because here parents spend a lot of time trying to keep kids OFF of computers!
As always, I love hearing about this project!
Yes that’s weird! I just had guests from Guatemala City who also couldn’t believe the difference between the city and here.
It’s really great what you’re doing. Education is so important…and children really are the future. You are an inspiration!
I can’t say enough about how I’m loving this initiative of yours Pauline!