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ESTHER'S FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS

Ten-year-old Esther lives with 15 family members in a small house in a humble neighbourhood in Manizales. Her mom works six days a week to make ends meet and provide the basics for her family. 

Like many other children facing poverty and hardship around the world, Esther had no books at home and the quality of education at her school, now closed due to COVID-19, is very poor. 

Luckily, Esther attends Aprende Leyendo, our reading program at a local community hub with her younger brother. “I enjoy coming every week because Miss Paulina teaches us to read and write,” she says enthusiastically. The program has been a vital resource to keep them learning during school shutdowns.

The Covid 19 crisis has reminded us of a simple fact: we need to take care of each other. 

The education of 1.27 billion children and youth worldwide has been affected by school closures due to Covid-19 this year.  Immense financial stress has flooded families and this is likely to affect parents’ decisions to support their children’s education. 

This Christmas, please help a child lift themselves out of poverty.

If you are thinking about how you can make a long-lasting difference to a child like Esther, in such a challenging time, please give the gift of literacy today, a gift that truly lasts a lifetime. 

This Christmas, we aim to reach 300 children and families in Colombia who need vital literacy support. From book packs to weekly reading and writing mentoring to help children develop the skills for lifting themselves out of poverty. Will you join us?

MEET ESTHER

Ten-year-old Esther’s big brown eyes light up as she talks about the Aprendo Leyendo program. “I enjoy coming every week because Miss Paulina teaches us to read and write!” she says enthusiastically. 

In many ways, Esther is like most young girls. She loves wearing pink clothes and the fantasy of fairy tales and unicorns. But her life isn’t easy. She lives with 15 family members in a small bamboo and concrete house in the humble neighborhood of El Carmen in Manizales, Colombia. Three generations cram the two-level home, and the rooms are divided by curtains instead of walls.  

Esther and her four siblings are raised by her single mother. Her 60-year-old mom, Melinda, works Monday to Saturday cleaning houses to provide the basics for her family. Despite all, her family is close and makes the best of things because they have no choice.

Esther is in third grade and goes to a public school. Although it’s funded by the government, resources are very limited, and the quality of education is extremely low. Though the school’s been closed for months now due to COVID-19. 

Luckily, Esther’s been able to keep attending the Aprende Leyendo program every week since she was six with her younger brother, Angel Fabian. The program has been a vital resource to keep them learning during the school shutdowns. Program Manager, Paula Correa, helped set up the reading room at a local community hub in 2014 to give disadvantaged children access to books, mentoring and help improve their reading.

Like many other children facing poverty and hardship in Colombia, Esther had no books at home. Aprende Leyendo and the World Literacy Foundation donated food, clothes, and books to her family, so now Esther can read at home too. Esther wants to be a policewoman when she grows up to take care of people in her community. We think her dream will come true because the gift of literacy opens endless possibilities for children in need.  

Donate today to help more Colombian kids like Esther learn to read and achieve their dreams! 

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