The other day I was reading a beautiful story about a heroic, compassionate act. One of the commenters wrote, “See? There IS still good in the world!” While I had been moved by the extraordinary kindness in the story, the comment gave me pause.

It’s true that with each news cycle we grow weary to read about so many acts of cruelty and hate. But I also witness acts of kindness and empathy every single day.

I thought immediately of this community, a group of people naturally compelled to reach out to their neighbors in need, wherever in the world they might reside. It is a source of profound inspiration for me to be connected to so many of you who instinctively share your resources to ease the burden of another. You remind me that great goodness does persist in our world.

I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to you for shining your light on the young lives in our program. You are demonstrating your good faith in our collective power to make a difference and in doing so you inspire others to do the same. Together we are confronting darkness and despair by sowing seeds of hope.

Below we have gathered some highlights from 2019. I hope you feel proud of all we have accomplished together. None of this would be possible without you!

~ Julie and the Education and Hope family

In 2019, we are proud to announce ELEVEN new high school graduates!

Three of our scholarship recipients earned university degrees.

63,000 meals! The hot, nutritious lunch we provide at the after-school program is the most balanced meal our children will eat all day. 

185 comprehensive scholarships this year! These scholarships cover a wide range of costs including tuition, uniforms, school shoes, transportation, and material costs.

Our new Montessori-inspired dishwashing station means each person is responsible for washing his or her own plates. Students are actively contributing to the well-being of our program and we are breaking cultural stereotypes by modeling that all humans can do housework, not just women.

This year, 95 children attended the after-school program daily. Here they received two hot, nutritious meals, tutoring, medical attention, hot showers, and extensive family support services. 

Arts education! We have long wished to increase exposure to music, dance, theater, and visual arts. This year we began by adding an art teacher to our staff and had a wide variety of activities throughout the year that involved singing and acting on a new homemade stage.

Creating Community! Many long-time supporters came to visit us in Xela and witness our work first hand. New friendships unfolded as our community deepened in understanding, appreciation, and kinship.

These are just a few highlights of our extraordinary year. We have big plans for 2020 and we look forward to sharing our dreams for what’s ahead!

Your generosity has helped us to create a true refuge where children can grow in the love they need to thrive with access to the tools they need to create a better future. Thank you for believing in Education and Hope and for the extraordinary generosity that sustains our program.