International Students

Educating, Feeding, Supporting students around the world
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Every year in January Skyland Church raises funds to support our international students in Guatemala, Tanzania and Fiji. A small amount of money ($800 per country) goes a long way to support their education. The money pays for tuition, transportation and food for multiple students in each location.

Baobab Home, Bagamoyo, Tanzania

Founded in 2004, The Baobab Home is a small, community-focused NGO whose mission is to help children from families affected by HIV/AIDS, mental illness, and poverty. We accomplish this through a range of programs, including a family-style orphanage, a primary school, a breakfast program, an organic farm and general outreach work in the community.  The Baobab Home’s vision is to improve the future of Tanzania’s most vulnerable children and above all, the approach is holistic, taking into account the various social, economic and psychological aspects of challenging situations, in order to come up with sustainable solutions.

In 2008 the Baobob Home received an unsolicited donation from two donors in California that enabled us to purchase 12 acres of beautiful, arable land about 5 km outside of Bagamoyo town.  Today it is the center of The Baobab Home where we raise organic fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, cows, and a living laboratory for our primary school Steven Tito Academy.  The kids are growing up safely, and close to nature where they can learn how we grow and use food for nutrition. The farm also allows us to be more self-sufficient, which provides a better life for the Baobab family.

 

Skyland Church has supported the Baobob home and Stephen Tito Academy in Tanzania for over 10 years. Currently we are sponsoring a young elementary girl student Samira. Samira wrote a “gratitude letter” addressed to John and Linda Heyes for all of us at Skyland Church in late 2021 as she finished first grade.

 

Poverty is not an accident.  Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the [conscious] actions of human beings.”

Nelson Mandela

Creando Mi Futuro

San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala

Creating my Future is an NGO dedicated to helping indigenous families in the highlands of Guatemala through art, nutrition and education assistance. Skyland Church has been sponsoring students in the Creating my Future project in Guatemala for 9 years. It provides art instruction after school to the Maya Tz’utujil children of this small village. At the same time the program encourages the children to stay in school and helps the students with technology and tutoring. It also empowers the local women to grow their own food and provides a food basket per week for the families. Skyland Church sponsors individual students every year.

 

 

Hello Skyland Church,

I am writing to thank you for your long-time support of our project in Guatemala, Creando Mi Futuro (www.creatingmyfuture.org)  Your ahijada Rosa Isabel (youngest daughter of Jesus Yocum, mother also of Francisco – your first ahijado – who is now a young man with a new baby!) is in our young girl’s group, learning many different types of manual arts activities.  She is very bright and always has the answers to the questions.

Mom is participating in our mother’s weaving group (which has been recognized by our Muni Gov’t as contributing to the maintenance of culture in this pueblo) and attending our little store in the front of the site, where we sell products of the moms’, kids’ and staff members’ to help support the program.

lessings to you and to Skyland church.  Your generosity is so appreciated.
Mira

Kadavu Connection
Kadavu Island, Fiji

Salaseini Lele (Nia) who we sponsored in High School has graduated from Nursing School

From Connie Durant,

I have loved and appreciated Skyland Church for over 20 years. What an amazing and wonderful congregation! I am in awe that the school fee sponsorship program has been supported by Skyland’s Mission Team and congregation since 2006! I am so grateful, as are the families of the students who have benefitted so greatly from the assistance.  On Sun. Jan. 29th, I will be giving an update on past students who have been sponsored by Skyland Church, as well as a little background on Kadavu Island Fijian villages and the needs of families there who live by subsistence farming and fishing.

Connie Durant, a member of Skyland Church wrote us in May 2021,

“Bula Vinaka, a warm Fijian greeting of love and thanks, to the Skyland Church congregation and the Missions Board for your generous donation to our Friends of Fiji / Kadavu Connection school fees sponsorship program! “

Skyland Church has been helping students from this tiny island with sponsorship to cover student fees for room and board and transportation to the larger island so that they can attend high school.

One of the students that we sponsored through High School was Nia. She successfully completed her final year of Nursing School and graduated in early 2022.

Connie continued to update us on the students during this difficult time of the pandemic.“Fiji has been hit particularly hard, economically, with the pandemic, so your contribution meant more this year than you can imagine. One family, our friends and neighbors when we lived on Kadavu Island, was in great need, as their eldest daughter, Salaseini Lele Lewania Naivalurua (nickname Nia), is in her final year of Nursing School, and the family lost all their sources of income. Nia has worked very hard since primary school, and when she went to high school, Skyland was her sponsor. She always achieved very high marks, not only in classes, but in overall academic contests. Nia continues to study hard, get high grades, and is looking forward to graduating in January 2022! Her hobbies are reading and swimming, and she turned 21 this year. She has two younger sisters, and a younger brother. Her parents, Rogo and Tulala, are very hard working, intensely devoted to the education of their children, and are extremely grateful to Skyland Church for the many years of sponsorship of Fijian village school children.”

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