Half of the 600 orphans and vulnerable children we serve received meals of posha, beans and rice for an entire week thanks to the Jolkona Community’s generous support. When our kids are fed a nutritious diet daily, their overall health, appearance and attitude improves dramatically. As a result, they are better able to act as stewards of their own community. They have been touched by the kindness and goodwill of people a world away and are inspired to give back. With the rising cost of basic food requirements, in some cases up 50-80% from last year, Children of Uganda initiated a sustainable Food and Water Security program that has been adopted by our children, staff and local community members. In time, they will gain the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to become self-sufficient.
48 girls and women, who would otherwise have had no chance of becoming literate in the course of their lives, have achieved literacy and numeracy skills, with the consent and approval of their family. They also have the possibility of continuing their education further through the Higher Level Literacy Courses or by attending regular school in the area, if their family so permits. That these girls and women are part of a larger family network is a given; that their experience in school will affect the other females in this network is now also a given - these chosen few stand out of the crowd as potential role-models for those who are uneducated. They are also pioneers in the change that is sweeping through the country's cultural mores where schooling for girls is still taboo and something to be looked askance at; not something to be taken for granted!
40 children have received desks through the Jolkona Community. The interesting thing about something as simple as a school receiving a desk is that the desk suddenly validates the school, as a school. Parents in the community suddenly take the school seriously they see outside sources caring about the little school they built with their own two hands. They know that no one in their own community can afford to purchase a desk, so a feeling of astonishment touches each heart. They are no longer a small grass hut school with no one from the outside world even knowing they exist but now someone out there not only knows they exist but someone out their cares enough to buy them a desk.
With support from the Jolkona Community, Machik has added 188 volumes of 56 different titles in Tibetan, Chinese and English to the Chungba Schools' Libraries. These books are immensely important for the enrichment of the school library collection and for the education of the community. They will help promote mastery of Tibetan, Chinese, and English, as well as promote an understanding of the cultures expressed in the three languages. They help to supplement classroom teaching, enrich and update extracurricular knowledge, broaden views, deepen understanding, and cultivate ethical positions. These books will continue to benefit over 500 students and faculty in the Chungba campus, and go beyond to enrich their families and the whole community of Chungba.
Through the Jolkona Community, 48 indigenous elementary school children in rural Guatemala have received 271 months of computer literacy training in word processing, drawing and keyboarding software programs. The training gift, which costs $5 per student monthly, provides something much more profound to these children: it allows them to dream of a future beyond subsistence farming. One of the tutors from Roots and Wings International in Guatemala emphasized the importance of this program, noting, â€śwe are in the age of technology, the Stone Age has passed, and we need to prepare ourselves to be able to meet the challenges of todayâ€™s reality.â€ť Knowing they have support from people across the world can encourage themâ€”and their families, whose daily budget averages just $2 per dayâ€”to strive to graduate from elementary school, against all odds. This may be the first step toward a more promising reality, today and in the future, for Guatemala's indigenous people.