Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Adult Education at AFE

By Paul Sloan

One month ago, AFE started an adult education course for the adults of the garbage dump. From 3 to 5 P.M., Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, adults come to AFE’s campus to receive classes. Currently, we have students receiving classes from 1st through 5th grade. Paul Sloan teaches 1st grade, which consists of 5 to 6 students per class period, and Oscar (a young man from the Linda Miller community) teaches 2nd through 5th grade, which also consists of 5 to 6 students per class. They instruct in all the basics, from the alphabet and reading and writing, to counting and mathematics.

One woman in particular is excelling in reading and writing. Almost 4 weeks ago, Marcia Gomez Lopez came to AFE not knowing the alphabet or how to read and write. Currently, every class period she is reciting the alphabet and reading aloud perfectly. She is 51 years old, lives in Buen Samaritano, and is a single mother with 4 children. Two of her children, Victor (15) and Brian (9) attend the classes with her. She has been living in the Buen Samaritano community for 2 years, and working in the dump for approximately 3 years.
When asked why she started coming to classes, she said with a smile, “Just to learn.” At age 51, not being able to read or write or do any sort of math, she is now reading and studying on her own time, doing homework with math problems and writing assignments. She is learning quickly and loves coming and participating in the class. It is people such as Marcia Lopez that AFE is trying to reach out too. She is a living example that God’s work does not stop with the children at the dump, but that His heart is for every one, and that every single person has a purpose, and His hand reaches out to all of them.
Addendum from Elise White Diaz:

Why provide an education for an older adult who will have a small chance of changing her circumstances? Education creates more than just new job opportunities. It also provides self-esteem, identity, and the ability to see beyond one's circumstances and glimpse the possibilities in the larger world. Who knows what effect education will have in the life of Marcia Gomez Lopez. Let's pray and see!

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