The children loved the teamwork activity. Could they work together to stack the cups into a pyramid?
The art time was very popular. These children showed great talent and creativity.
Bingo ... numbers, colors, days of the week!
Our Mexican teachers were so very helpful and fun.
Lunchtime! The children enjoyed their snacks and lunches each day.
To practice their English skills, the kids had to find and answer the 25 questions hidden within the garden.
1-2 Buckle My Shoe
For 3 years, Operation Feed has worked to helped our families make the July-August school expenses manageable. One project has been to provide each family with children in school with a coupon to purchase a pair or two of school shoes. Larger families got a 500 pesos coupon; smaller ones a 250 pesos coupon. This year, Melody Peterson took on the challenge of hosting a fundraiser to add to the monies available for shoes. The Ruby Slippers luncheon was a huge success! All totaled, those who donated at the luncheon and through the pesos jars provided for 250 pairs of shoes this year. That is double what we were able to give last year.
As part of the luncheon, women from San Juan Cosala's micro business efforts were there to show their products. The Knitters and Crocheters had lots of items to sell that are made from donated yarn and beads. All the money made goes directly to the person who made the item. The Moringa Madres were able to show their newest beauty creams and explain the organic tree farm process.
And what did all our work produce? Enough money for every child in Operation Feed who attends school to get a new pair of very well-made, black school shoes!!
The Library that a mother's gift built. The House of Dreams was built for the children of San Juan Cosala through a generous donation made by the mother of Ken Liennman. She wanted to ensure that her funds were used to make a difference in the village loved by Ken. Ken and his wonderful contractor, Toby, took on the challenge to renovate an old house in under two months. No one thought it possible, since it meant getting government approval forms and gutting the home. A water system was installed, new electriccal and plumbing, and a bathroom built. And that was only a little part of the work. The inside was fitted with custom book shelves and filled with lots of donated books and games. A team of village mothers came together to offer assistance in the running of the library. A special project under the auspices of Operation Feed is supporting this project through contributions of materials, assistance with volunteers, and funds to pay the chief librarian and monthly bills.
The children love having a place where they can read both Spanish and English books. A computerized listing of all the books available, since some are still in storage, has been developed by Ken. This lets the children's request end in either a book being brought from storage or added to the list of what is needed. Game times, special classes, storytimes for different ages, and more are all planned. More information about the library will be coming soon.
One expense that is constant and impacts the families' ability to save money for other needs is clean water. With the help of some volunteers who have worked in other countries and have an understanding of what is needed, Operation Feed has been trying out the filter systems from Filter of Hope. https://www.filterofhope.org/
The water tests have come back better than the purchased water and our families really appreciate the idea of not having to buy, carry, and lift the big bottles. We are exploring the possibility of making this our Christmas gift to each family. Two families are trying out the filter systems in their homes and will give us their opinions. All families were introduced to the systems and tasted the water. Plus we have systems in the classrooms at two schools and for the English students at Carol's house. We will keep you informed.
Despensa Keeps Going
Even though Operation Feed has many projects to support our families and the children of San Juan Cosala, it is the food program that is at the heart of what we do. Without ample food, the families cannot invest in the education of their children or learn new money making skills. We so appreciate those donors who have signed up for a monthly donation through PayPal or the more personal envelop system. It allows us to know how much additional money we need to earn each month. And as always, we appreciate the Egg Ladies monetary contributions which help pay for the eggs provided each week. The monthly costs are usually about 30,000 pesos. That's about 300 pesos per family. If you are interested in knowing more about the despensa and how to help, please visit our website.