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Foundation Donates to scholarships through Gardens Edge and Qachuu Aloom in Guatemala.

"Dear Emily Sandall Foundation,

Thank you for your continued support of our work in education, agroecology and community health. Last year’s programming included scholarships to young Maya Achi students, continuation of Creative Solution Projects that included Maya Achi language classes, Natural Medicine and Physical Therapy sessions in rural communities, and ecology lessons with students. The Association Qachuu Aloom is a predominantly "feminine" Maya Achi organization with 500 members from rural communities in the department of Baja Verapaz. They have identified the lack of educational opportunities as a major setback for their children who struggle to find work or to develop professionally. Students who do have access to education often find the experience alienating, eroding their relationship to their indigenous values and community. In the past, there was a common belief that by going to school and embracing western culture, indigenous people could work their way out of poverty. With that idea, many indigenous families have made efforts to give their children, mainly boys, the opportunity to study, but young women rarely have that same opportunity. To mitigate the lack of educational equity and job opportunities and to address the issues of discrimination in the educational system, QA provides opportunities for the children of their associates to continue their studies and to become professionals who can confidently assume leadership roles within any institution or organization. In Partnership with People to Protect Seeds, Water, Soil, and Culture. In 2023, with the support of The Emily Sandall Foundation, QA provided scholarships to seven young women and two young men. In addition to their academic training, QA offered diploma courses and workshops in agroecology, cultural revitalization, health, radio, communication, public speaking, gender equality and sexuality. The distribution of the scholarship funds is based on the level of education and costs. High school students who study closer to home generally use their scholarship funds to purchase, for example, school supplies, a computer, or to pay for typing classes. Those students studying at the junior college level receive slightly more support to help cover the cost of transportation and tuition because these educational centers are private. QA motivates young people to continue with their studies, while participating in its agroecology, communication, and community work. In 2023 they provided communications training to nine students, two of which were scholarship recipients (Delmi and Reyna), with the idea of teaching them how to capture the stories of elders who work in food sovereignty. They learned how to conduct interviews, take photos, and to produce and edit videos. Consequently, Delmi now helps QA update their social media accounts. As a result of her participation and her demonstrated interest in video production and editing, she was given a used laptop computer so that she can continue with her practice while keeping up with her studies. We are very grateful to the Emily Sandall Foundation for supporting this important work in the Maya Achi region of Guatemala. "

Sarah Montgomery, Director Garden's Edge

Josselin, Qachuu Aloom

With Emily's passions for the education of lower income students and sustainable farming, the projects of Qachuu Aloom make us feel her spirit in this wonderful work!

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