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The Ripple Effect Program is  a Basic Education and Literacy program in Guatemala, which includes building or renewing school infrastructure, including washrooms and kitchens, and providing furniture, supplies, computers and playgrounds, focusing on the primary grades. The Ripple Effect Scholarship Fund, encourages Guatemalan students to attend middle school and high school. A Teachers’ Scholarship program was started in 2015, and four Guatemalan teachers graduated with a degree in 2017. Four scholarships were also awarded in 2018, enabling four young women to enter their first year of university.
 
POWERFUL IMPACT: We are often asked what impact the Ripple Effect Program is having on the children and on their communities. It is amazing how quickly positive change has happened. At the start of the program most teachers only had high school level education. However, our liaison with the Guatemalan Dept. of Education has resulted in a commitment to provide qualified teachers in each school we build. Now most teachers are university trained educators. Since 1999, the Canadian Ripple Effect Program has built or refurbished over 85 schools, awarded over 550 middle school and high school scholarships, directly benefitted over 25,000 students and invested over $3,000,000.00 in education in Guatemala.
As a result of the enhanced quality of education, the number of students, particularly female students, has risen sharply. The high quality of education has also resulted in academic success as well as enhanced employment opportunities to graduating young people.
 
FOCUSED ACTION: The changes made by taking focused action has truly created positive ripples in every receptive community in which we built a school. The positive impact has become more evident every year. Rotarians in Guatemala are now raising funds and donating to
projects. Guatemalan companies are jumping on board, the government is looking to help any way they can, the municipalities and communities are stepping in to offer skilled and unskilled labour, as well as materials and equipment to help. They are making access to rural schools easier by repairing roads and are improving drainage near schools.
 
WE NEED YOUR HELP: With your help, we are making positive change happen! Education is the right of every child. Join us in making a long-term positive difference in the future success of children and their communities in Guatemala.
TO LEARN MORE: Contact Gord LeMaistre, Canadian Ripple Effect Program Chair at glemaistre1@hotmail.com