“On the 8th, 9th, 10th day of Christmas FieldWorks asks of Ye…” who is going to take care of the children while we’re at work?’ For the poorest communities in Xela there is Caras Alegres
Who are they?
Caras Alegres works in Las Rosas, Xela, one of poorest neighbourhoods, with 1 in 2 households in extreme poverty, 1 in 2 individuals having completed primary education, and 1 in 2 children under five suffering from malnourishment. Family members hold down multiple jobs. This leaves family youth without supervision for most of the day. In a country with strong gang culture closely linked to crime and drugs, the stakes for youth are high. Caras Alegres began an after-school programme for those poorest households in the neighbourhood. Particularly supporting single-mother headed households by offering a safe space to send their kids as they earn their much-needed income to survive. A far better alternative than being out on the streets.
Why do we like them?
From the very first moment we stepped into the Caras Alegres centre it was clear that this was a community institution. Set up to serve the community and much loved by the kids that we saw queue up to enter well before the after-school programme would start. It is run by a small team on a shoe-string budget. They manage with the generous support of volunteers and local businesses, and thanks to a hugely dedicated 2 person staff. When you realise that the volunteers and supporters are also ex-participants to the centre, you know that something is being done right. Caras Alegres may be a small outfit, but they have great heart and huge determination, despite often having had to roll back much needed programmes when funding ebbs.
Why should you support Caras Alegres?
Caras Alegres understands the importance of making a little help go a long way. They have managed to buy the land and premises on which they operate and set up an organisational structure relevant to the size and scope of their operations. All on an annual budget of less than 40K USD.
Caras Alegres has a clear sense of purpose and is well connected to and accepted by the community in which it works. Feedback from all the stakeholders we met indicated that the organisation is open, welcoming and works in the best interests of the community. Everyone emphasised the key service Caras Alegres provides and the impact that would occur were it to cease operating. To know more about their setup read our info-sheet here.
Caras Alegres shows great heart and no end of enthusiasm or ideas for how it can deliver even better, more supportive services for the families and the children that visit its centre daily. A donation to them will go a long way and will have a huge impact on its ability to achieve their objectives. Their potential is as boundless as the energy of the kids who visit its centre!
What does Caras Alegres say?
In Guatemala the holidays around Christmas are equal to summer holidays, which means that January is the month to pass on to the next grade in school. In many poor communities, different school fees easily consume a substantial percentage of a poor family’s income and result in high drop out from school. This lack of education slows down development and keeps many children from improving their life conditions. In Caras Alegres we sponsor a backpack and school supplies for children that attend our program and fulfil certain requirements. This relieves some of the economic pressure from the families while also encouraging and inciting education among the children in the neighbourhood. The money that may enter Caras Alegres through this collection will be spent on these equipped backpacks before school starts again. We thank everyone that wishes to support this cause and wish you all the happiest of holidays.
Interested in donating? Go to their Global Giving page here