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The road less travelled: Sponsored child, Marta, takes a promising educational route

Marta displays a letter.

Marta shows off the latest letter from her sponsor.

“Like mother like daughter” isn’t always the fate a parent wishes for a child. Growing up in rural Guatemala, Zulma did not have the opportunity to study as a child and missed out on the benefits of an education. But, she swore that the same thing would not happen to her daughters.

“Some girls in my community decide to marry very young, but I don’t like that because then they cannot complete school,” said her daughter Marta, 16.

Marta’s own desire to be educated was so strong that even the most treacherous weather and commutes did not prevent her from attending school.

“Sometimes I walked through heavy storms,” she says. “One day it rained so hard, but that did not stop me from going to school.”

After completing primary school, Marta was eager to attend secondary school – even though it was located far from her remote home. Ultimately, due to distance, cost, and fear that something would happen to her during the long and dangerous walk to school, Marta’s father concluded that further schooling would not be possible for Marta.

Bringing education closer to home
Marta, her mother, and her sisters.

By receiving a high school education Marta (pictured here with her mother and sisters) can break the cycle of poverty for her family and begin a cycle of progress.

Marta had been out of school for a year, staying home to help her mother at home, when Plan began working in her community. She learned Plan’s programs would provide for uniforms, supplies, various school fees for the children in her community.

Marta in her school uniform.

Thanks to her sponsor Marta was able to secure the uniform and supplies she needs for school.

But there was still the issue of the long trek to school and her parents’ concern for her safety. A Plan facilitator visited Marta’s family to discuss alternative options, like distance learning centres. The distance education programs use daily pre-recorded television lessons to make secondary schooling accessible to children in rural areas of Central and South America. With Plan’s support, 4 had been established in communities near to Marta and her family’s home.

Two months later, Marta was happily attending classes at the closest centre. Now, she feels inspired by courses like art and is determined to continue studying. She dreams of using her education to break the cycle of poverty in her family and one day have a career.

Marta’s mother is excited and relieved that her daughter is once again enrolled in school and on track for success. Marta’s younger sister, Lorena, 10, has become a sponsored child. Lorena is attending primary school and hopes to follow in her sister’s footsteps. Thanks to generous child sponsors, both Marta and her sister now have a chance at a brighter future.

A world of possibility
Marta does her homework.

Marta is committed to her studies, and setting a positive example for her younger siblings

Marta’s determination to learn – no matter how challenging the journey – is an inspiring example of the power of education, and of children. When given the chance to reach their full potential, children can change the world. By becoming a child sponsor, you can too.

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