Catholic School's Week at CJ will be spent focusing on the life and mission of Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN. In continuing her work to give voice to the voiceless, students will learn how they will be able to provide educations for two girls living in one of the poorest regions of Belize.
As told by two students, Annie Stoddard and Lauren Porter who attended CJ's mission trip to Belize last summer: This past summer a group of students spent a week outside of Punta Gorda, Belize in a small village called Cuhxlin Ha. Each morning we woke up early to travel down the rocky dirt roads to a school in Conejo, about a 40-minute drive. Most schools in rural Belize, like the one we visited, don’t look anything like schools here in America. The school houses are small cement buildings, consisting of one or two rooms. All grades, k-8, are confined into this one building. Not only is the space limited, but they also lack essential materials such as books and paper.
Most of the children have to travel many miles from their thatched roof homes in the heart of the tropical forests just to get to school. CJ has decided to sponsor two young girls, Senida and Reah, by helping to pay for their high school education in an attempt to break the cycle of poverty bestowed upon most Belizean women. If parents would like to contribute to our cause, they can send in donations to key club.
Senida Bo is a 14 year old girl that lives in Cuhxlin Ha. She has two brothers who attend school. She is very smart and speaks four languages. However, she was unable to go to school last year because her family could not afford to pay the fees ($500) and fears that she will follow in the footsteps of her mother who married at the age of 14 and had a baby, which is usual for girls her age that don’t attend school. Her mother very much wants her to go to school and earn a high school education.
Reah Coc also lives in Cuhxlin Ha and also has two brothers who attend school. She has great responsibilities of house chores and taking care of her siblings because her father could not find a local job so he works hours away from home. He leaves home for ten days straight to work then he returns home for only four days before he leaves again for work. She is a very good student and takes extra classes on Saturdays so she can pass the high school placement test.
We believe with the help and support of the CJ community, we will be able to help sponsor high school educations for both of these girls and help liberate them from a lifetime of certain poverty and oppression. We believe that we can be the change for these two girls and set their lives on a new course.