Costa Rica: Community Action Alliance
Give the Gift of Education to Children in Costa Rica.
Education Equals Hope partners with Community Action Alliance, CAA, located in San Ramon, Costa Rica. We are working together to help educate children in the San Ramon area.
Children from poverty-stricken families are required to have school supplies, special uniforms and shoes in order to attend public school in Costa Rica. This volunteer-run scholarship project has been operated by CAA since 2013. The goal is to support 25 to 30 public school students until high school graduation, and 1 university social worker student in the San Ramon area who serves as an administrative program intern. In 2022, the youngest students from the original class of students are graduating high school; in total, 20 students will have graduated by December 2022, and two university scholarship program interns have earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Work.
With your help, we can continue to raise the $18,000 needed annually to keep these students on their paths to graduate high school, and improve the lives of their families.
Approximately 12% of Costa Rican families live in poverty or extreme poverty. In San Ramon, the majority of these families are parented by single mothers or guardians. Many of these women are non-documented Nicaraguan or Central American immigrants and therefore are not eligible for government assistance to buy the school supplies, uniforms, and shoes necessary for their children to take advantage of the free public education system. However, over half of our scholarship students are Costa Rican citizens living in poverty conditions! Survey results indicate that 20% of these households have children aged 7-10 who are not in school.
This project provides school supplies, uniforms, and shoes for up to 30 financially needy but academically motivated and successful children in San Ramon. Assistance is provided through vouchers (not cash) redeemable for approved school supplies and uniforms at partnering retail stores that offer discounted pricing. Satisfactory academic scores, attendance, and teacher’s nomination are necessary for multi-year eligibility. Our goal is to help these students complete high school, and for those academically eligible, to help them apply for university or technical school and financial aid. We also provide, as necessary, psychological counseling, specialized medical, eye exams-glasses, and the students are monitored and supported by social workers and mentored by CAA volunteers.
Education offers an opportunity for children to escape a lifetime of poverty, drugs, gang violence, and crime. Almost all of the children supported are from single parent or foster home environments living at or near the poverty line. Education in Costa Rica is optional after sixth grade; and it is clear that these students would not be able to attend high school without financial assistance. It is important to provide continuing annual assistance until the students in the program can graduate high school, go to work, and begin to break the cycle of poverty within these families.
We believe that an investment in a child’s education is a lifetime gift. Please join us in the fight to change lives through education, one student at a time!