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A huge thank you goes to everyone who donated to our 2021 Lent Appeal. You raised a wonderful £22,088, funding not only the Guatemalan post-Covid tuition programme, but also a similar initiative in Bangladesh.

Ten year-old *Almika couldn’t read, despite attending school and ‘passing’ each year. But after just three months of the post-Covid tuition programme funded by our 2021 Lent Appeal, she is reading simple sentences.

Almika’s school in Guatemala has been closed for 14 months. Like most street-connected children, she couldn’t access online learning and had little encouragment to try.

But as a member of our Guatemalan partners’ mentoring programme for high-risk children, Almika attends small-group tuition, several days each week. And her learning is taking off! “Almika is finally getting the attention she needs to catch up,” say our partners. “She has not missed her lessons for a single day.”

Almika is one of 40 children taking part, and one of nine, from grades 2-6, who could barely read or write. Already five of these children are working at grade-level, and the others, including Almika, are making good progress.

“The main challenges have been the total demotivation of children for their studies, and low self-esteem,” say our partners. “With love, hard work and perseverance, that has changed. Now each child explores, investigates, asks and works independently. The programme is having a huge impact.”

Bangladesh Preschool Tuition

Thanks to your generosity, we have also been able to fund a similar initiative in Bangladesh, where our partners are supporting children’s education with a post-Covid home tuition programme. Over 100 children aged four to eight are taking part, in 18 community-based groups of six to eight children. At  least 50% are beginners who would have started preschool this year.

*Amrito joined the preschool in 2019 and thrived. He loved the classroom, loved learning and made new friends. “Everything was going well,” say our partners. But in lockdown, Amrito struggled. His behaviour deteriorated, and he wouldn’t engage in anything positive. He lost his appetite and wanted to sleep all day. Whenever they saw the preschool team, his worried parents would ask ‘when will you re-open, because my child is not well’. When the team launched home tuition, Amrito’s parents offered the use of their courtyard. Four months later Amirto is making good progress. Multivitamins and supplements provided by the team have restored energy levels. The team say: “He is a happy and playful child again.”

We funded a three-month programme in January 2021. Thanks to your generosity at Lent, we were able to fund a further three months from April. Our partners say: “The education improvement project can play a vital role to protect this generation, and preserve their future.”

Thank you for your support for our work supporting children and families in marginalised communities, affected by the Covid pandemic, via our Children At Risk programme and Lent appeal. We hope you can see the difference you are making!

*Children’s names changed to protect their identity