Many of us have houses scattered with books, laptops, and every type of device we can imagine. In fact, we’re surrounded by these tools our whole lives. Better said, many of us have received this “gift of access” early in our youth, with the world at our mere fingertips. But what about the rest of the world? In truth, millions of children worldwide have not received these same tools.
We see this deficit in the nation of Guatemala, specifically in the rural areas that our team serves. For example, according to the Ministry of Education for the area of Huehuetenango, an extremely rural town in Western Guatemala, 91.4 percent of their population does not have access to a computer, and 82.2 percent does not have access to the internet. In places like this, many teachers are left with little to no resources to lead their classrooms, creating a more difficult learning environment for their students.
In response, Edify’s Guatemala Team partnered with Missionary Ventures International (MVI), an organization with a mission to bring the gift of access to students. MVI serves local Christ-centered schools, strengthening them to carry out their Kingdom callings by partnering with them and providing the resources they need to flourish.
Together, these collaborators envision Guatemala as a nation where all students have access to technology and the resources they need to learn and flourish. Their approach? Joining forces with some of Edify’s partner schools in rural areas and providing computers to increase their technology access. The participating schools are fully committed and enthusiastic about providing opportunities for their students, many of them having worked with MVI previously. They contribute half of the funds needed through local funds or loans. MVI then matches the other half.
Jose Perez, EdTech Integration Officer in Guatemala, shares the initial impact. “[Providing] this access to technology brought in countless benefits… From typing and writing skills to accessing documents, videos, and audio content. [This] solution greatly helped develop the students’ digital literacy, alongside other reading skills.”
Wendy Carranza, proprietor of Casa del Alfarero or Potter’s House in the rural area of Chiquimula, shares the transformation that has occurred since receiving the computers. ¨We only had four old computers during the pandemic, and now have 20 computers. It has made a great difference because we all know students’ learning improves when using technology.¨
This remarkable transformation shows us that it wasn’t just computers that were provided, but access to learning that would have otherwise been out of reach. As we stand back in awe of God’s goodness, we see students equipped to learn with quality resources, and empowered with the gift of access. With transformations such as this, we know that He has added more pages to the stories of each student impacted.