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School of Hope 2021 update

21/01/2021

On 14th January, the Guatemalan Ministry of Education officially stated  that schools cannot open until March at the earliest, and only after an inspection, likely to take place in mid February. The ministry will determine how many students can attend in-person classes and will check for access to water, hand sanitizer, cleaning products and prevention protocols.

Due to this governmental edict, it has been decided to run the whole first quarter remotely, we will continue to provide fortnightly homework swaps, teacher phone check-ins, alongside food hampers, to ensure our students have enough to eat to enable learning. The hope is that by April the school will have been approved to open, with the rates of Covid in Jocotenango low enough to do so safely.

Staff members are now able to meet and plan at the school. Our dedicated, resilient Guatemalan team will deliver the best education possible over the 1st quarter. Up to 4th grade, additional reading books, textbooks and school supplies will be distributed to students at home thanks to our successful ‘Deck The Halls’ festive fundraising campaign. However, without technology and internet access, our older students won't advance as they ordinarily would.

Thanks to support from Experian, St James Place Wealth Management and Fluent Money, we've been able to provide laptops for all of our Further Education Students. It is now our older (12-16 year old) Basico students in The School of Hope who desperately need access to technology/internet as they are particularly susceptible to disengagement and negative outside influences.

Post April, more teaching space is needed, in order to fit 230 students (half of the school) into a Covid secure hybrid programme. Restrictions require 4 meters between students so, due to the size and shape of the classrooms, allow only 4 per room. Outdoors the distance drops to 2.5 meters. To make it possible to have these 230 students in the building each day we need to build 10 ranchitos, simple metal frames with laminate roofs. These shelters would house a total of 90 students, shaded from sun and protected from rain. They will be future proof, removable and flexible and used for a variety of uses post Covid such as a cafeteria, staff and parent meeting spaces.


In order to make these changes to technology and space we need to raise £20,000 this quarter. If you know of any funding sources, grants, trusts or are able to personally help, we’d be delighted to hear from you at mahalia@eftc.org.uk or donate at eftc.org.uk/donate