The Garden’s Edge Scholarship and Microloan Program
The Emily Sandall Foundation has partnered with Garden’s Edge (Qachuu Aloom) located in Rabinal, Guatemala to provide scholarships for Mayan girls to study in middle and high school in Rabinal, Guatemala. Since the Foundation started supporting Qachuu Aloom, we have helped over a dozen girls graduate, some of whom have gone on to be teachers, accountants, and other professionals in the community. So far, in 2014, we have provided 9 scholarships to the Mayan girls.
The partnership with The Garden’s Edge also includes support to a microlending program. Hundreds of small loans have been made to women to start small businesses like raising poultry, pigs, milk cows, soap making, weaving, and other artesian craft businesses. Without the help of the Foundation, these women would lack the collateral to take out a traditional bank loan. These loans are life changing, as they enable women to generate the income to buy raw materials for their businesses, send their children to school, and buy other household necessities.
Sarah Montgomery, the Founding Director of the Garden’s Edge said, “As part of a long-term plan to help make Qachuu Aloom a more financially stable organization, we have begun to develop a business arm, run by the families who participate. Qachuu Aloom buys our members heirloom vegetable seed, amaranth seed, and other products and markets them nationally. The Emily Sandall Foundation is helping to buy materials to start a commercial kitchen for the women to make bread, process Amaranth and other products, as well as develop a catalog for our products, and a webpage. As part of this grant, the association is also offering nutrition classes for malnourished children and their mothers at the hospital and helping to build food gardens for these families.”
For more information on The Garden’s Edge, please visit http://www.gardensedge.org/index.html