Here’s the problem. There are way too many children in Belize stuck in a cycle of poverty. Why? Because the government of Belize doesn’t provide free education for them after the age of 12. So, what does this mean? It means that if families can’t afford the tuition to send their children to school, their kids don’t get to go. Plain and simple. If you can’t afford tuition, you don’t get to go to school. And we don’t think that’s right.
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Education makes a difference. Statistics show that Belizeans who are fortunate enough to receive that secondary education have more job opportunities, make higher wages and, therefore, have a better chance of escaping that cycle of poverty.
Can you imagine being told that you can’t get a high school education because it’s too expensive?
Can you imagine what it’s like to see a school in your community where kids are learning, but you can’t go because it’s too expensive….and there’s not a free alternative? Can you imagine what it’s like to dream of being a doctor one day, but feel hopeless inside because you know without school, there’s no possible way that dream could ever come true?
We don’t think Belizean kids should have to feel hopeless about their future. So, we help those kids, the ones who are dreaming of a better future, the ones who want to go to school but can’t, because they lack the finances to do so. We help those kids who just want a chance to work hard, get an education, graduate, and give back to their communities. We help those kids by providing the tuition they need so they can get the education they deserve.
But we want to do more than just pay for their education.
These kids are pretty amazing, and they’ve got big dreams. We want to see them flourish, not only academically, but also personally and spiritually. So we built PathLight Centers in every community where we sponsor students.
And this is what really makes the difference and enables these amazing kids to become all that God created them to be.
PathLight Centers are a place where students come after school each day. A place for them be inspired, get support, learn Christian principles, and most of all, feel loved. Here’s what happens at PathLight Centers:
Students receive any additional academic support they need. We know school can be challenging and sometimes kids need additional help with certain subjects, so we have tutors waiting there to help with homework. We also give kids access to computers and the internet so they can reach beyond their school curriculum to expand their knowledge in topics that spark their curiosity.
Each student is matched with a Christian mentor. This mentor stays connected with the student in all areas of their life. They are there to help them with problems not just at school, but also at home. All our mentors are Belizeans because it’s important to us that the students have godly examples of people who grew up right in their own community.
Students participate in structured activities with a purpose. Every week there are Bible studies, youth group activities and exploration of special themes. They learn values like gratitude, loving their neighbor, and how much God loves them. Our goal is to build a strong Christian foundation these students can build upon for the rest of their lives.
Here’s the bottom line: We believe in the youth of Belize.
We want to make sure they get an education, but we also think they deserve more than a diploma. They deserve personal and spiritual support that is so impactful, it will continue to make a difference in their lives long after they’ve graduated. All of this will increase their odds of breaking that cycle of poverty, not only for themselves, but also for the generations that come after them. And that can change the course of an entire country.
This is why PathLight exists.
Give the gift of education today, so children can dream of a better tomorrow.
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