“Barefoot Angels” targets young people 7-18 years old who work in the central market in Santa Ana, El Salvador’s second largest city, and in extremely hazardous conditions at garbage dumps in the area. The program is one of the few alternatives to the city’s gangs.
Among the aims of “Barefoot Angels”—“Angeles Descalzos” in Spanish—are school drop-out prevention and child labor eradication. To make up for the lost income from their child’s labor, the parents are offered participation in ASAPROSAR’s microcredit program. They are encouraged to send their children to school—which is half-day due to overcrowding—and to the “Barefoot Angels” program the other half day.
The program provides tutoring, computer and English classes, dance, theater, sports, and health and sex education. There is a library for the youth, a nutritious snack served each day, and psychological services and referrals.
“Barefoot Angels” emphasizes leadership development, and the most outstanding of the youth are offered jobs with the program.
Sponsor a Barefoot Angel
For $40 a month, you can sponsor a Barefoot Angel and help keep a child in school and out of hazardous working conditions. This scholarship covers $80 for books, shoes and uniforms, and $40 a month for 10 months of ongoing expenses, including bus fare, food, school supplies, and school fees.
To be considered for these scholarships, the youth must have good grades in school, consistent participation in the program and leadership qualities. Those who are chosen commit to tutoring the younger children and volunteering in the library. Their parents pledge to allow their children to stay in school and to participate in parent activities.
For information on how you can help, click here.
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Article on Magicians Without Borders and the Barefoot Angels program