We currently support 20 students with scholarships to attend the Escuela de Comercio (commerce school). Students can apply for a scholarship with us if they wish to attend this school. High school lasts – depending on the study subject – two years (10th and 11th grade) or three years (10th to 12th grade) and ends with a high school certificate. In Guatemala, this high school certificate, unlike in the German education system is the first professional qualification degree. It is therefore very important as it enables an entry level for a qualified job position.
High schools are, however, mostly private schools. In addition, at this level the cost of school supplies rises considerably. For large families with an income of less than 200 euros per month, the costs associated with getting an education are not affordable. As a result, only about a third of all youth goes to school after the 9th grade on.
In our experience, 30 euros a month is sufficient to fund students attending a public high school. With our scholarship program, we cover the cost of school supplies, transportation and school uniform.
The local management of the scholarship program has been under the responsibility of Ms. Nurya Gonzales since the beginning of 2014. Nurya, born in 1971, is a social worker with a focus on community development. In her professional life she has worked for 10 years as a lecturer at the Mariano Gálvez University and has also worked for various national and international development organizations. After Nurya coordinated the scholarship program on a voluntary basis for the first year, we decided together with her to pay her an allowance so that she can dedicate more time to the scholarships programme. This allows us to offer the scholarship holders workshops on various topics.