The sisters of the order “Dominicans of Anunciata” run, along with the school next to the landfill in Guatemala City, a school in Lancetillo in the department of Quiché, a rural developing area where particularly health services are absent.
Through the director of the school we have learned that many young women aspire to become health service workers. Many come from large destitute families or were orphaned as a result of the armed conflict. They cannot afford to pay the vocational training which lasts 12 months and costs around 2400 US dollars.
For these young women, this vocational training is very important. It strengthens their self worth and they receive recognition. Furthermore, they can work for the community and for other women, who traditionally have been responsible for family health, especially in Indigenous communities.
Since 2009 we support every year the vocational training for two young women who generally send us photos and letters for applying. Their parents are mostly illiterate and these young women must absorb a lot of medical knowledge in a compacted form. This is a great demand and at first, some fail however after repeating a term, these young women are able to finish their vocational training. From six scholarship holders, only one, Juanita, dropped out of the vocational training because she fell in love.
The other five have graduated. The pictures on the right hand side, shows the graduates from 2012, Alicia and Santos with their diplomas. In the middle stands Erika Kammer who has contributed greatly to the project with her constant trips to the region.
As of 2013 we will give three scholarships. Furthermore, we are considering in giving an extra grant for the training of licensed nurses, in particular for dedicated auxiliary nurses –for instance (e.g. Lucrecia). It is important to mention the work of the director Teresa and the other sisters, who conceived this project together with Erika Kammer. They have carried the different tasks of choosing the scholarship holders and accompanying them throughout the vocational training as well as organizing alternatives when faced with challenges.