Last month I had the privilege of hosting a small team from Health Bridges International for a few weeks to visit all of our different Girasoles homes. At each of our seven homes the small HBI team provided medical and dental care to the Girasoles boys. We took everyone’s height and weight to track their physical development, and we did a lot of finger pricking (some were easier than others) to check for anemia. I even had my finger pricked at one point. Those of you who know me also know that this is no small feat!
Missed the first post about the Beca 18 scholarships? You can read it here.
Last week we received the news that all 4 of the boys who applied for the Beca 18 scholarship were awarded the scholarship from the Peruvian government!
As I wrote before, the Beca 18 scholarship is a great opportunity for any of its recipients and offers programs of study in both the university and institute (technical school) levels. The scholarship covers tuition, English classes, a new laptop, uniform for classes (like a suit if needed), private insurance, and provides the student with a monthly stipend for housing, food and transportation. It is a great opportunity for these 4 guys that who would not necessarily have had access to higher education studies.
A few days ago, Billy and I visited both the university and institute where they will be studying. We met with the government scholarship representative at each school and were filled in on all sorts of details like when classes start, benefits of the scholarship and class schedules. We were helicopter parents at its finest.
On April 29th, Daniel and Eloy (business administration at the Instituto Emprendedores) start with a welcome ceremony where they will be given their class schedules, a tour of the school — basically everything that a welcome day entails. For Wilfredo and Huberth (chemical engineering and architecture/urban planning respectively at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola), they will register for classes during that week as well but the date for their welcome event hasn’t been determined yet.
It’s been a busy past few weeks for Billy and me. We have officially kicked off the 2014 volunteer team season with 4 very different groups from around the States.
In February, we traveled to Ica for a week with a small group of 4 adults from New York City. They come every year during the final weeks of summer vacation to play with the Girasoles boys. We played sports, made crafts, went swimming a few times, saw the LEGO movie at the theater, went out for pollo a la brasa and had lots of fun with the kids at Girasoles Ica.
Shortly after we said goodbye to our friends from New York City, we were back at the airport to welcome another group.
It’s just about the end of summer vacation here in Peru and almost every store is full of school supplies and big sales on notebooks, markers, crayons, and the such. As the majority of our Girasoles boys are preparing to return to elementary or high scholol in a week or so*, we wanted to tell you about an opportunity that four of our boys were given.
In 2012, the Peruvian government started a higher education scholarship program called Beca 18. There are quite a few different scholarship categories available for applicants like high grades, students living in the VRAEM (an area of Peru that still has low terrorist activity), members of the Peruvian military and students that live in albergues (childrens homes like our Casas Girasoles).
The Beca 18 scholarship is a great opportunity for any of its recipients and offers programs of study in both the university and institute (technical school) levels. The scholarship covers tuition, provides the student with a monthly stipend for housing, food and transportation, English classes, a new laptop, uniform for classes (like a suit if needed), private insurance and a few other things. It is a great opportunity for students who would not necessarily have access to higher education studies.
At the end of January, Billy and I were contacted by a few employees from Pronabec, the government body that manages the Beca 18 scholarships, to see if we had any boys in our homes that were eligible for the children’s home category. To apply for a university program, students need a minimum average of 15 out of 20 during their 5 years of high school study and for institute programs a minimum average of 13. Pronabec has a maximum 200 spots to fill within the children’s home category and when they contacted us on January 23rd, there were only 7 applicants and the deadline to apply was just two weeks later on February 7th.
A few weeks ago, Kate and I had a chance to spend some time with Eloy, one of the graduates of Scripture Union’s Girasoles program. He is actually now working full time as one of the caregivers for the other boys for the home in Kusi where he grew up, but he was spending some time in Lima on vacation.
We had to opportunity to do something that was a first for all of us – go glo-bowling in Lima. We had a great time, and I even broke 100 points in a game for the first time ever (pretty sad, I know). We even started our third game with all strikes and we were pretty proud to be the only people in the entire bowling alley who were not using the bumpers! In the end, we came out tied. Kate, Eloy, and myself each won one game.