In 2007 we discovered that many of the children we were working with in Nicaragua only had no hope of going to High School. High school is FREE! But the boys would just join a gang, and many of the girls would become pregnant by the time they turned 14 years old. What's the problem? The students had goals and desires, but no hope! The High School was as far as 8 miles away for some students. The bus cost 50 cents each way. That's $25 each month. The single mom of the family was only bringing home $40 each month. There was no hope!
In that instant I saw that we were doing exactly what we had set out NOT to do – bring some pre-packaged approach designed in North America into other countries and cultures, looking to impose it upon people who have little or no use for the program we decided to promote! The only saving grace was that we really liked these kids - and they really liked us … and somehow they knew that deep down inside - we cared for them.