Charity of the Season: Cooperative for Education: Guatemala
Here at Grassroots we recognize the power of charity and goodwill and our responsibility to help the less fortunate. Our charity program is tasked with seeking unique and effective charities to help communities around the globe. Each quarter we partner with a different charity and dedicate a portion of our web sales to that program, and for Quarter 2 we’re thrilled to support an amazing Guatemala-based project called Cooperative for Education.
Cooperative for Education is an innovative charity whose main mission is to wipe out the root cause of poverty in rural Guatemala: inadequate education. Poor education programs are a major hangup for most developing nations, one that hinders future growth and keeps rural areas stuck in poverty. With minimal budget for books and media, the education systems cannot keep students interested or involved. Dropout rates stay incredibly high, and the unskilled populations are unable to get better jobs, reinforcing the poverty cycle and preventing development. Guatemala in particular is a nation of slim opportunity for its rural and indigenous populations.
Guatemala’s statistics on the rural public education are staggering. According to the Cooperative for Education site, more than 90% of schools in rural Guatemalan areas don’t have access to textbooks, reinforcing high dropout rates. The actual rate for graduation is eighteen out of every hundred in rural areas...meaning 82% drop out. The Cooperative for Education creates programs that get essential textbooks and media in these rural classrooms for years to come.
Using a concept called a revolving fund, CoEd sources the textbooks in bulk, nearly at cost, and has students pay a nominal rental fee that pays for the replacement textbook after five years. The community is invested into the success of the program as well, as they must pay rent for the books, so involvement at large is high. These programs have been super effective, as it’s reported that 99% of schools with a CoEd textbook program become fully sustainable and renew their textbooks using the accrued rental fund. CoEd Textbook Programs have a twenty year track record of success, with over 130,000 CoEd textbooks in circulation and over 25,000 students using the texts. It’s the kind of outreach that disadvantaged populations really need to blossom and rise out of centuries-old poverty.
In a nation so plagued by inequality, the rural populations of Guatemala have it pretty rough. Thanks to years of research and stewardship, Cooperative for Education is making waves of progress in such populations, and we’re absolutely stoked to be able to support such an effective movement. Viva Guatemala!