Why Become A Sponsor?
Supporters of the student scholarship program have the unique opportunity to change the economics of the impoverished communities of El Salvador at a grass-roots level. The benefits of education are too numerous to mention. By supporting a student, you are not only allowing the opportunity for school, but you are also supporting the student’s family and their community. Families are required to pay for school after year 3, and this is often an economic burden that the families alone cannot bear. As a result, students often drop out of school to start working to help support their families.
One full scholarship of $1,300 USD per year pays for the school fee as well as books, uniforms, transportation, and “family support” — the amount of money the student would earn as a child laborer. In exchange for the scholarship, students are required to earn good grades and attend leadership development activities with other students. Additionally, the students’ families are expected to help in community projects and other activities sponsored by FOCES El Salvador.
How It Works
Children become eligible for a scholarship at age nine. FOCES El Salvador staff members, working exclusively in the rural communities of El Salvador, identify the students and families that would benefit most from the program. The students are chosen based on need, leadership potential, and number of students (becarios) in each community. The staff then compiles a short biography of each student and sends the biography, along with a picture, to FOCES Albuquerque. FOCES Albuquerque then spreads the word of the available students to interested sponsors.
Who Can Be A Sponsor?
Anyone! There are no “typical” sponsors. Individuals, couples, extended families, and groups all contribute to the scholarship program. There is no limit to the number of students you can sponsor. Sponsors receive regular reports about their student(s)’ academic progress and are encouraged to exchange letters with their students. Additionally, sponsors are welcome to join one of the delegations to El Salvador to meet their student(s) in person.