The How and What

IMA is dedicated to empowering impoverished girls in Guatemala to achieve their full potential. Our nonprofit Christian organization transforms lives through educational, spiritual and physical development

How We Work

Local

Our United States based board of directors partners with the school in Guatemala run by local Guatemalans. US operations are run entirely by volunteers allowing 94% of IMA’s funds to go directly to our cause. We adhere to the highest standards of financial accountability. We commit to meeting the needs our students as efficiently as possible and to using funds only for the purpose for which they are provided.

Sponsorships

Sponsorships help pay for girls to attend IMA’s school, whose educational programs, nutritious lunches and snacks and transportation when needed are provided for all our students.

Donations

In addition to sponsorships, IMA relies on fundraising and donations in the US to offset the costs of school operations and to save for special projects like equipment (vehicle, desks, etc.), supplies and special field trips.

Families Involved

Families of our students also participate in the expense of the school, based on their financial abilities. They are additionally required to volunteer a certain number of hours at the school per school year.

What We Do

Academic Program (pre-K – 6th grade)

Secondary Reten9on Program (7th-9th grade)

Scholarship Program (high school, college, technical school)

Community Food Program

Nutrition Program

Language Program – English

Computer Training Program

Community Store

Academic Program (Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth grade)

Developed by education specialists in both the United States and Guatemala, IMA’s curriculum is designed to provide a rigorous and contemporary education. All students must complete and pass the Guatemalan State test for each grade level before matriculation to subsequent grades. The educational standards set forth by IMA are far more demanding than those of public schools in Guatemala. IMA offers courses in English, computer training and enrichments that public schools don’t offer. We would like to provide better access to resources like individual books for each subject, a science lab, math lab and a critical thinking lab. We also have an ongoing need to make improvements and additions to our library, including purchasing novels, research books, teacher supports and classroom computers or tablets.

Secondary Retention Program 7th-9th grade

IMA has always been fully supported by donations and student sponsorships. The Secondary Retention Program is a development program aimed at finding the resources to continue supporting our students after they graduate the sixth grade. In Guatemala, girls entering secondary school are at a particularly critical age in terms of their socio-economic indicators. It is at this impressionable and important age that many young women begin to leave the educational system to support their families. This loss of educational opportunities puts them in continual jeopardy of staying in the cycle of exploitation and poverty in which so many Guatemala women exist. IMA works with specific sponsors who wish to continue supporting the education of IMA’s girls at other local schools and additionally those students who don’t have sponsors that follow them past the sixth grade.

Scholarship Program 10th grade – college

In Guatemala, most young professionals who take jobs as teachers, secretaries or other middle-income professions require only a twelfth-grade education to be certified. IMA’s offers scholarships for promising students to continue to pursue their education beyond junior high school, be it through high school, college or technical school.

Other Programs

Nutrition Program

IMA’s girls are provided a well-balanced meal and a late afternoon snack each day. A typical diet at home includes black beans and corn tortillas but many students would not eat if not for the meals they receive at IMA. Meals provided by the school offer optimum nutrition and are supplemented by vitamins. It is the consistency that makes meal times important at IMA. The girls know they will be cared for each day and never need worry where they will get their next meal. Through in-kind donations, IMA has also provided cooking classes to the families of IMA students in order to teach them delicious and nutritious ways of preparing donated goods.

Language Program

According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language, learning a second language has a positive effect on intellectual growth and enhances a child’s mental development. It leaves students with more flexibility in thinking and a better ear for listening. For IMA students, learning English opens a door to a world of opportunity and the profound realization that the world they live in is much bigger than the circumstances into which they were born. In 2007 the English program was improved with half of instructional minutes provided in English and three to four bilingual teachers on staff.

Computer Training Program

We live in an information age where national borders no longer hinder the flow of communication. One advantage IMA pupils have that their public school peers do not is access to computer training. IMA offered its first computer classes in 1998. Today, IMA would like to provide internet access to all school computers with supervisory controls as well as provide access and training using portable tablets.

Community store

Through a partnership with the Orden de Malta, IMA has a store on campus of various goods and medicine at reduced costs. The Orden de Malta donates these goods free of charge with the only requirement that they be sold at very low prices to IMA’s local community and not used for resale in commercial or retail stores. Not only does the store provide the community access to medicine at an inexpensive cost but the profit gleaned from the store helps offset the costs of IMA’s programs.