Guatemalan educator informs The Brook members about ‘adopted’ school
MADISON – The Brook congregation recently listened firsthand about progress at their ‘adopted’ school in Guatemala.
Mayra Garcia with Asociación de Kairos visited The Brook on Nov. 2 and reported on Kairos School that she founded in Ciudad Vieja, Guatemala.
Several years ago, The Brook’s missions director Sue Ann McCoy met Garcia. The Garcias fed many children who only were eating tortillas once daily or every other day.
Less than six months later, Garcia founded Kairos School. “While most of our work with Kairos has been through financial support, we’ve sent teams multiples times to work with kids, support the teachers and work on community projects,” McCoy said.
One Brook team built a home for a Kairos student’s family. Teams usually visit for one week but have stayed up to two months.
The school desperately needs computers. “We’re praying the Lord will give us resources to help provide Kairos with 40 to 50 laptops,” McCoy said. “We’ll send a team next September to set up a network throughout the school.”
Kairos has about 86 students in grades K-8. “As each grade graduates, they add the next one,” McCoy said. “(In) a first-grade class, students will be different ages — some may be seven years old and others 12 years old.” One eighth-grader is 18.
Up to 90 percent of Kairos students attend by scholarship. “Many Guatemalans, especially men, don’t believe their children need education past fifth grade, if they attend at all. Many fathers don’t believe their daughters need education; they should stay at home and learn how to be a wife and mother,” McCoy said.
Many families live in “makeshift homes,” one or two rooms often with dirt floors, an open fire for cooking and no bathroom. “These homes are about the size of sheds in our backyards,” McCoy said.
The Brook members will travel to Ciudad Vieja on Labor Day weekend in 2014. Along with networking computers, they will build stoves.
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