Sombrilla’s most recent project is in El Salvador. In partnership with local organization CEBES (Christian Base Communities of El Salvador, in Spanish, Comunidades Eclesiásticas de Base de El Salvador) Perquin, Together with CEBES Perquin we are providing educational scholarships to students studying at the post secondary level. Sombrilla commitment this year is to provide stable funding for 25% of the scholarship fund.
In El Salvador relatively few young people have the opportunity to continue their studies beyond secondary school. Some of the challenges that they face are that they have to travel to either San Salvador or San Miguel incurring the expense of transportation and accommodation; There is widespread poverty and the cost of attending college is outside the possibilities of most rural families. Migration tends to be an attractive proposition for many young people, they stop thinking of continuing their studies to try their luck in the north. For these reasons, without a scholarship, for the majority of youth, there is no possibility of further education. Even a modest scholarship, opens possibilities that allow them to move forward in the fulfillment of their dreams.
Since 2015 Sombrilla has been providing funding for these scholarships. We are currently assisting 13 young people. To qualify for a scholarship, each student must have a financial need, have good grades and be involved in the local community.
An addition to the scholarship program this year is a more structured approach to the students community involvement. In past years community involvement was left to the discretion of each student who received a scholarship. This year CEBES Peraquin has defined involvement in the local community as working with young people. Each student is asked to form a youth group, with 5 or 6 members, that will meet twice a month to reflect on the issues affecting young people today.
The main objective is to instill, in the youth, values that will help the them to lead a dignified life. Through their involvement in the local community, not only are the students be meeting a requirement for access to the scholarship, but they are also making a contribution to the prevention of violence among the youth, that has erupted along the length and breadth of the country.
The first Saturday of every month there is a meeting with the scholarship students and the youth leaders from the different communities to review work they have been doing with their groups and study the theme for the coming month. The groups have been working on themes such as Climate Change, Migration. Indigenous Worldview and Ecological Projects.
Already there are dozens of young people who, thanks to a small scholarship, have been able to complete college and now are working as professionals.
Our partners in El Salvador tell us that there is a lot of satisfaction taken from what these young people have achieved. It is a pleasure to see them, for the most part, working with great social awareness. These young people have overcome many obstacles and in the process they have been able to benefit their families and their communities.
Support this project here, and please select Jose Garcia Memorial Fund