Looking for additional ways to donate to EST/HER International? Why not a scholarship for our SHINE program in Belize?
The Shine Program
The SHINE (Shaping Healthy Identities for Nurturing and Empowerment) Program is targeted at young girls who are in difficult situations at home and lack a healthy self-esteem. They are hand-selected with the help of social services, counselors and teachers to give them the opportunity to SHINE. It is our desire to ensure that they are all given the opportunity to complete their schooling and have the opportunity of going to college.
The power of education
One study after another has shown that educating girls is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and helping them out of their tough environment. Schooling is often a precondition for girls and woman to stand up against injustice, and for woman to be integrated into the economy. Until women are fully numerate and literate, it is difficult for them to start businesses or contribute meaningfully to the national economies.
There are many studies that have shown the broader economic benefits. A study done over 5 years in one country, by MIT professors, showed that education led woman to marry later and have fewer children. Another study out of Indiana University & Harvard confirmed this, showing how the vast expansion of primary education in Nigeria resulted in a young lady having .26 fewer children on average – a considerable reduction. Due to the lack of education for many girls in Belize, there are many teen pregnancies, and thus begins the cycle of financial crisis, and often settling for an abusive home life.
As part of the SHINE program one of the primary goals is to ensure the young ladies complete their formal schooling which would require support through scholarships and other means. For young ladies who successfully complete school, we would also like to help provide the opportunity to attend college. As this is significantly more expensive, alignment and assistance from the colleges, social services and others is critical to make this both possible and successful.
What are the Opportunities to help?
As young ladies join and participate in the Shine Girls Program, we identify those that have the desire and commitment to complete their schooling. Soul Tides approves them for a scholarship. However, these young ladies need lots of love, support and encouragement and that’s where YOU come in!
On average it costs around $1000-1200 per year per girl. This would cover tuition, books, transportation, school projects, supplies and food, etc. If an individual, a family or small group would like to “adopt” one of these young ladies by contributing the money for the scholarship and supporting through encouragement, that would be a real blessing!
The girl’s individual stories are often very personal and tough, and not to be shared publicly. However, if you decided to participate in a sponsorship, we would love to share their story and connect you with them directly.
It is our initial goal to provide 10 scholarships and we have 3 young ladies already engaged and needing this support. Thanks so much for your consideration.