How $25 Can Change a Childís Entire Life
June, 2015

Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." Matt. 25:40

Published by the Society of the Good Shepherd, P. O. Box 122, Amberson, PA 17210. (717) 349-7033

Honduras microloan What can you buy for $25 in the U. S. these days? A number of things. You and your spouse could eat out at a moderately-priced restaurant for that. Or you could splurge and buy a Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappacino each work day for a whole week. Or with that same $25, you can dramatically change a childís entire life in Honduras. How? By buying him or her a school uniform. ďHow is that going to change someoneís life?Ē you may be wondering. Let me explain.

Iíve been traveling to Honduras for 15 years now on behalf of the Society. One of the things I learned right away from being in Honduras is that the single greatest factor that will determine whether children will live the rest of their lives in dire poverty is how much education they receive.

Honduras microloan The public schools of Honduras provide free education through six grade to all children. To be sure, a sixth-grade education wonít qualify anyone for the top-paying jobs. But it does lift a child from the very bottom rung of the poverty scale. However, nearly one-fourth of Honduran children drop out of school before finishing sixth grade. Such children are usually illiterate as a result, and they are doomed to spend their lives as agricultural laborers, cleaning women, and open-market vendors. Not that there is anything wrong or dishonorable with those occupations. Itís just that they are usually very low-paying.

Honduras microloan The main reason so many children donít complete primary school is that their parents need them to work and help support the family. Those situations are very difficult to overcome. However, on my last trip to Honduras I learned that there is another reason why many children donít go to school: their parents canít afford to buy them a school uniform.

Even though education in the public schools is free, the children must wear the prescribed uniform: (1) navy blue pants (boys) or skirt (girls) and (2) a white shirt or blouse. Children are not allowed in school unless they are wearing the proper uniform. The uniforms are sold in stores, and they cost about $25 per uniform. For the very poor, thatís a huge outlay. And so thousands of children end up not even completing sixth gradeósimply because their parents canít afford the cost of uniforms for them.

Honduras microloan When I heard about this, I thought to myself, ďI certainly am not going to be able to enjoy another meal in a restaurant unless I first provide a uniform for at least one Honduran student.Ē Perhaps many of you will feel the same way. If you would like to donate toward this, please mark on your check that itís for ďschool uniforms.Ē We will not be giving the $25 to the parents of the children needing the uniforms. Instead, we will directly buy the uniforms for the children ourselves, so that the funds donít end up being misused.

Trickle-Down Effect

When you donate toward a uniform, you end up blessing more than just the student who will be given the uniform. First, when the student outgrows the uniform, it will normally be passed down to a younger sibling. Second, the uniforms will be bought from local stores in Honduras, providing income to small business owners there. Third, one of the sisters in our loan program, Deysi Mayorga, is a seamstress. So we plan on hiring her to sew the skirts for the girlsí uniforms. This will throw a lot of work her way and help to support her and her family. In short, itís amazing how much can be accomplished with just $25!

The Society of the Good Shepherd, P. O. Box 122, Amberson, PA 17210 ē (717) 349-7033

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100% of all donations go to the designated work in Honduras. We pay our own overhead and travel expenses. All loans made are interest-free. The Society of the Good Shepherd is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible.