Poverty isn’t a one-dimensional problem, so solving it requires a comprehensive, integrated approach. Because education is critical to ending the poverty cycle, our model focuses on creating the necessary supports for families to keep their children in school rather than going right into the workforce to supplement the family income.
We recognize that a hungry child has trouble concentrating, or a child without a roof over their head cannot shake a cold. For these reasons, the Common Hope model includes programs in education, health care, housing and family development.
Education is the key to long-term change. With a high school degree, a young adult can double their lifetime earning potential. Through Common Hope’s education support programs, young adults can acquire the leadership and critical thinking skills needed to become agents of change in their own communities, creating ripple effects for generations to come.
Access to Resources
Beyond attending school, our education support programs ensure kids stay on track to graduation. We offer early childhood education, tutoring, access to a computer lab and library, youth groups and one-on-one support for at-risk students.
Fast Facts: Education
- School attendance in 7th grade decreases significantly as children go to work to supplement their family income
- More than 30% of children in Guatemala fail first grade at least once
- Only 18.6% of students graduate from high school in Guatemala compared to 70% in the United States
Health Care Program
Health care is one of the most urgent needs of the poor. Living in compromised conditions results in increased sickness and injury. Many Guatemalans die of preventable diseases and illnesses. Here, it’s common for people to live years with dental problems or hernias—conditions that can be easily treated.
The services we provide greatly reduce the risk of family health crises that threaten a child’s ability to stay in school.
Our Health Care Program gives families access to high quality curative and preventative health care through our medical clinic, laboratory screenings, pharmacy and nutritional services.
Our medical clinic provides treatment for everything from common respiratory issues to infections to minor injuries and emergency care. Chronic disease treatment is also provided. When our clinic is unable to provide care, we offer referrals to specialists, and treatment comes at no cost to the patient.
Wellness and Prevention
Our goal is to help families address short-term needs so they can achieve long-term goals of a better life. We offer dental care, prenatal care, wellness exams and support groups for those with chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
Fast Facts: Health Care
- Malnutrition is a chronic problem affecting 49% of the population
- Infant mortality is among the highest in Central America
- In Guatemala there are only nine doctors for every 10,000 people, on average
The families Common Hope serves often live in inadequate and unsafe conditions. Living in unsanitary conditions can lead to parasitic food contamination, life threatening disease and family strain. Many families in Guatemala live in small, dirt floor houses made of cornstalks and scrap metal. Many of these dwellings do not have potable water or sanitation systems. Because people often burn open wood fires in their homes for cooking, respiratory illnesses are a leading cause of death in Guatemala. This type of cooking also creates a greater risk of house fire.
It’s difficult to focus on studying when rain leaks through your roof, and it’s impossible to do homework when you have no light at night. Common Hope’s Housing Program helps create a more stable home environment so kids can focus on school.
Clean, Dry and Safe
Through our Housing Program, families can earn a home that is clean, dry and safe. In addition, families can earn housing improvements such as a stove, latrine, washing basin, or the installation of connections to water, drainage or electricity. All of these components support families in building a better life and future for their children.
Fast Facts: Housing
- In Guatemala, 67% of families live in homes without roofs and sufficient living space
- Homes built with cornstalk walls and dirt floors are unsafe and unsanitary
- Families often live without basic electricity because their home isn’t on a grid
Family Development Program
In order to make a permanent difference in people’s lives, we need to reach beyond the child to their entire family. A child’s success in school depends in large part on their family’s health, safety and stability. In Guatemala, problems like abuse, alcoholism and poor self-esteem prevent success.
To address these issues, social workers connect families to our comprehensive and integrated services. These services include parenting programs, women’s leadership groups, legal support and emergency relief. Together, families identify obstacles, determine goals and create a plan tailored to the family’s needs and aspirations.
Fast Facts: Family Development
- More than 25% of Guatemalans live on less than $2/day
- Explosive rates of poverty, alcoholism, violence, mistrust and unemployment exist in Guatemala