The mission of the El Salvador Projects of the Palo Alto Friends Meeting is to raise the level of education for the young people of the poorest communities in El Salvador. We believe that education is the key to lowering various social problems while raising the community standard of living and self-esteem of the students.
Carmen Broz (click here for picture), the founder of the El Salvador Projects, began her work in 1990 as a volunteer organizer under the care of the Palo Alto Friends Meeting (Quakers). Today the program has expanded and Carmen’s son, Robert, is coordinating and administering the programs in El Salvador. He receives a small salary for his work. The Palo Alto Friends Meeting oversees his work and coordinates speaking engagements, project updates to our mailing list and fundraising activities in the United States. The El Salvador Committee of the PAFM has eight members.
The projects have two main focuses. First, we raise money for K-12 programs. These programs provide equipment such as computers, sewing machines, baking equipment, etc. as well as school uniforms and supplies. We also help with teacher aid salaries. We provide scholarships for junior high and high school students in four rural communities of El Salvador. To 7th-9th grade students we give $150/year which covers expenses for, uniforms, supplies and a small part of their transportation. Our high school students receive $250/year to cover tuition($80/$100/year), uniforms and some of their materials.
The other focus is on providing university level education for qualified students. We match donors with specific students and we ensure that there is communication both ways at least once each year. These letters serve as an important bridge toward building understanding between our two cultures. It costs approximately $1000 per year to educate one university student. While there are some individuals who are able to support a single student we also have several groups that have joined funds to support a student. Since 1999, when our university student loan program was started, we have graduated 41 students as teachers, nurses, technicians in everything from computer science to industrial engineering. In 2006 our first student with a B. S. degree graduated from the university. Javier not only graduated a semester early but graduated top in his class. In 2007, five more students will be graduating with B. S. and B. A. degrees. In 2007 we are providing financial support to 20 university students. Part of our support includes three student houses, two in San Salvador and one in San Miguel for our students from Morazan(the poorest department in El Salvador)
We do all this on an annual budget of about $35,000 of which 15% is allocated to administration ($5,000 per year). We believe the project has a proven record of excellent oversight and wise use of resources. More information is available. If you can help with either of our two projects please send inquiries to email@example.com and send your tax deductible donation to:
Palo Alto Friends Meeting
El Salvador Projects
957 Colorado Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Your check should be made out to Palo Alto Friends Meeting and the memo field should say either El Salvador Projects 9th-12th, El Salvador Projects/University, or El Salvador Projects/As Needed.
Thank you for considering a donation.
The El Salvador Projects Committee
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