ITASACAN Senahú, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Interview with ITASACAN Student, Sabina Aurelia
Sabina is a single parent, a situation that sadly was forced upon her. This is a story about how Santa Ana Candelaria School has helped her to turn her life around
MAURO: I am currently at the Santa Ana Candelaria Institute (ITASACAN) and am interviewing one of our students, Sabina Aurelia. Through much effort, Sabina is studying in her first year of middle school (7th grade) under the work/study system of ITASACAN, a project by Costa Foundation and the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung Foundation. Sabina is the daughter of a member of the Candelaria local coffee farmer association. In addition, Sabina is a single mother. During the beginning of the school year, she had her young son with her. She has sacrificed a lot to continue her studies. Just a few days ago, she left her son with her mother and is now dedicated 100% to her studies. Sabina, how have you felt being at this school?
SABINA: Good. I feel happy to be here, to be a part of this school. I like the work/study system. I really want to achieve the best future possible.
MAURO: How was your experience with your son being here at the school and with your classmates? Did you have their support? Or did they not like it that your son was with you? Tell me about your experience with your son at the school.
SABINA: Good. I am…Supposedly my classmates were happy. There were no difficulties with staying here at the school with my son. He was happy. At times I felt desperate with my son here because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Everything is fine, thank God. And now, my son can stay with my mother while I am at school. I have to try as hard as possible to continue studying.
MAURO: How many months was your son here with you?
SABINA: 6 months.
MAURO: 6 months. Tell me, what do you think of the school system of working, studying, and living with your male and female classmates from other communities and municipalities that are not close to the school? What do you think?
SABINA: It’s good. The school here is definitely not the same as the school I used to go to, especially the work aspect. I think it’s a good model because we all learn. It’s for our benefit and for our future. We are learning a lot. I have learned a lot more here than where I used to attend school.
MAURO: Do you believe that this system of strict discipline and hard work helps a lot to develop and train you all as students?
SABINA: Well, yes. It’s so much work and effort for us that we learn a lot.
MAURO: What do your parents think of the school?
SABINA: They think that I should finish middle school and that I continue studying here and learning new things.
MAURO: Do your parents support you?
SABINA: Yes, a lot.
MAURO: What do you want to say to all the young people about your experience with your son being here? To young people who are your age and younger? What do you want to tell them?
SABINA: Well, I want to give them advice to behave well and to do their best efforts to study. Also, that they shouldn’t follow my example (in being a single parent). It is much better to continue studying, to take advantage of your youth.
MAURO: Do you want to say thank you to the people who have supported this school?
SABINA: Yes, thank you very much! Thank you for everything that you have done for me. It is a lot. You have helped us a lot.
MAURO: Thank you very much, Sabina! We wish you much success for your sake, for your son’s sake, and for this community’s sake that needs it. Thank you!
(In the interest of protecting children the children's names have been changed)
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