Graduations are a special event. Graduations are even a bigger reason to celebrate when the likelihood of achieving this accomplishment is diminished from the start. In El Salvador, in rural areas, only 5% of children attend high school. Read that again . . . yes, only 5 out of 100 adolescents attend high school. There are many reasons why this statistic is a reality — with over half of the population living below the poverty line, education becomes insignificant to helping your family survive.
So this past week, we celebrated. We celebrated a kindergarten graduate and a high school graduate. Sofi, the daughter of our houseparents in the Joy Home, graduated from kindergarten. This is a big celebration here in El Salvador because if you reflect on the statistic shared above, this is often the only graduation most children have. This won’t be the case for Sofi, but we are proud of the way she is an example for others around here even at her young age.
And we celebrated Stephanie’s graduation from high school. Woohoo! A couple of years ago, when Stephanie and her sisters came to be a part of our La Casa family, Stephanie was debating whether continuing her studies was something she even wanted to do. But Stephanie took the time to wrestle with this idea and listen to the counsel of her houseparents. Having an on-site education program where she could receive individual attention and guidance was a positive also in helping her decide to continue her studies. In time, she has been able to think beyond surviving to dreaming about many possibilities that could lie ahead for her in changing the trajectory of her life and her families’.
We invite you to join us in celebrating as you take a peek at a few photos from that special day.