For the past seven years, The Vineyard Church has had a sister village in Honduras, with 40 members making multiple visits to the village to work in the clinic or do construction work.
Since last October, however, an emphasis has been placed on educational needs.
Members observed that school in the village only goes through sixth grade. “To go beyond that, students have to pay $250 a year and travel to a neighboring village,” Dayton Vineyard executive pastor Elizabeth Wourms said.
“In addition, students need transportation to get to the other village. As a result, young people just languish around after sixth grade because there aren’t any options available to them.”
To alleviate these hurdles, members started fund raising to sponsor student fees for sixth-graders, and added fifth-graders this year.
“We only lack 22 sponsors for sixth-graders, and have six fifth-graders sponsored already,” said Wourms, who noted that there are 65 sixth-graders and 26 fifth-graders in their village.
But, transportation remained a problem, so the church is also trying to purchase a bus to transport students to school in the neighboring village.
“Working with Heart to Honduras, which is housed in Xenia, we’ve located mechanics and found the infrastructure on the ground in Honduras to purchase a bus.”
Cost of a good used bus is $15,000-$20,000, “and we need funds for gas, insurance and maintenance,” Wourms said.
“Education is the key to a better way for these kids, and can help them go on to universities. In addition to being a doorway out of the cycle of poverty, educated students can return, start businesses, and hopefully transform the village into a thriving community.
“So far, we’ve raised more than $11,000 toward the bus. This has been a total grassroots movement, as members who have been to the village told friends, family and coworkers about the children’s needs.
“We’ve established a fund with The Greene Foundation, and still have November and December — school starts in February, and it will take a month from the time the money’s raised for the bus to be parked in our village. I’m confident that we’ll have the bus in time for the new school year.”
Contributions can be made by check, made payable to the Greene County Community Foundation and mailed to Dayton Vineyard Church Honduras Education Project, c/o Greene Giving, 25 Greene Street, Xenia, Ohio 45385. Indicate Dayton Vineyard Church Honduras Education Project in the memo line.
For more information, contact Wourms at the church at email@example.com or (937) 427-1912.
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