We are sharing an article from the November, 2022 newsletter from our partner, The Guatemalan Tomorrow Fund, that explains why we preferentially support girls and young women through our scholarship programs. We not only want to advance education in developing countries, we also strive to overcome gender inequity in education. And with our Ak’ Tenamit High School Sponsorships program in Guatemala it’s a triple win; supporting education in a developing country, addressing gender inequity, and supporting Indigenous girls!
Our other scholarship program, Kenya University Scholarships, also addresses gender inequity in education. You may support either of these projects through our Donate page, or if you are in the US and would like to support a student at the Ak’ Tenamit School directly you may visit our page Donate from the US or visit the GTF website.
Breaking gender stereotypes, many of Ak’ Tenamit’s female graduates have been hired as forest rangers and to work with municipalities and nonprofit organizations supporting sustainable development in rural communities and especially helping accompanying rural women in initiatives related to poverty reduction and conservation. The involvement of women in jobs that are traditionally reserved for men helps provide inspiration for the girls in villages and the young women studying at our school. If young women are not gainfully employed, they are much more vulnerable to domestic violence, forced marriage and to not having a voice in major decisions that affect their lives. Ak’ Tenamit female graduates are able to find gainful employment which allows them to help support their families and gradually continue their studies at a college level so that they can become leaders in their communities and beyond. Ak’ Tenamit’s board of directors is led by several female leaders from the community.
Photos are of AAT graduate student, Doña Juc, who works with “The Mesoamerican Alliance For Women and Forests”. The Alliance highlights the vital contribution of indigenous women in protecting tropical rainforests, and making sure that their voices are heard at international events related to conservation.