The Chance Project (El Proyecto Oportunidad)

By Maria Soledad, Project Founder & Director

photo - Maria Soledad (R) first student (L)

While working in a Home for girls, I observed that cases are commonly divided in three groups: First, girls who had no family; second, girls who were not safe in their homes because of violence or abuse; third, girls who were taken away from their families because they could not provide food or a safe place to live.  Many of these girls could go back home if parents follow judge instructions, get a better job and improve their living conditions. This Project is focused on parents of girls of the third group, who need to get ready to get their girls back in their house. 

WHY is the Chance Project Important? Most of these parents were abandoned or abused kids, with no education opportunity, people with no opportunity to learn job skills. Most of the mothers are single, so they leave their kids alone or under not responsible adult supervision.

WHAT is the Chance Project? We contact parents through Home Social Workers to see if they meet the requirements and have shown interest and determination to get their kids back. After being referred, their situation will be evaluated (job skills, experience, education, interests and abilities).

HOW does the Chance Project Work?  A parent will bring information of three places to study. Chance personnel will visit the suggested places and evaluate them to choose one.  The parent will receive a scholarship. Their work, attendance and responsibility will be supervised. Parents will not receive the money it will be paid by us directly to the schools. They will be responsible for their own transportation expenses. They also will attend a monthly meeting in the project's office to learn about administration, nutrition, health, emotional support and encouragement. We'll also share the Good News of Jesus in these meetings.

WHO can help? Everyone, even though, it is important to get Guatemalan community involved in the raising money. Sponsors will be informed periodically.

I am working with the first student of The Chance Project already; she is a 29-year-old mother of five girls.  The father of the girls left and she is faced with the responsibility by herself. She works in a tools store.  If she sells, she earns money, otherwise she won't.  She went to the judge and asked for help.  The girls were sent to a home for girls. Her father abandoned this mother at the age of nine.  So she only got to the third grade. At that age she started selling candies in the street, cleaning a restaurant and the tools store.  None of these jobs could give her the money to feed 5 girls.                 

She came to my office one day and said… “I wish I could study”… so she became the first person in The Chance Project. She came back three days later with three booklets of beauty schools she could go to.  We decided together that she should go to the one that is authorized by the Ministry of Education. She is already earning money with the new career. Her girls are back home; she will be graduating this November. Her name is Zuly Elizabeth Zamora Contrera.  

Students for 2017...

Katy, Berta and Maria Luisa are studying sewing; Lidia and Maria Ana are studying cooking; Jacinta and Dorita are in beautician school and Elsi is studying English as a second language.

=======

Vilma, one of our students, fixing the hair of a Mayan bride for her wedding

==============

Chance Project Celebrates Five (5) Years of Ministry in November 2018

During the celebration event, each woman shared her personal testimony and how the Chance Project was helping her. They are learning to be self-sufficient in a trade of either sewing, cooking or as a beautician. We hope the pictures below help you understand the importance of this ministry to single moms who have been abandoned by their husbands and have no other means to support their families.  Thank you for giving them a "chance"!!!

    

Director Soledad (6th from L) with the 9 women in training

    

      

Top picture: Soledad & husband Herbert. Bottom pictures: Soledad speaks to the women (L), two women in training (R)

    

    

    

      

    

    

    

Women giving their testimonies

==============

A Success Story of Giving One a Chance

By Director Soledad

Maria Ana entered the Proyecto Oportunidad (Chance Project) to study cooking at a difficult moment of her life.  The land she inherited from her parents where she lived was stolen and her husband abandoned her and their children.  She had no place to live, a family to feed and the only job she had: sell tortillas, which one can only profit around Q30/day ($4/day). She got a scholarship from us and started studying in 2016.  I explained how the scholarship process was supposed to be followed and that she would have our support to study the rest of the year.  During that first meeting with the teacher, we were asked to provide her a pair of shoes because sandals are not safe in a kitchen. (Photo L-R: Soledad, Ana)

She finished that first year with great grades.  She showed she was committed to it.  The trainer suggested Ana should continue studying the next level in cooking school because she was determined to learn and succeed.  We decided to give her the chance.  Ana was the first lady who received a scholarship for a 2nd year in bakery school.

In January 2018, we were contacted by a home for girls, "Lazos de Amor".  They wanted us to teach their students work skills.  So we decided to give Ana the chance again.  We offered her the job and an extra course so she could learn even more.  Ana trained the girls in the home for two months; the directors of the home were very pleased and grateful.

I am very excited as I write this story especially because it ends in a great way.  Maria Ana is selling bread in her community but also teaching other ladies how to bake.  God is not only showing His purpose for Ana's life but for Proyector Oportunidad...we are opening a bakery in Sumpango, Guatemala where Ana will work and teach other ladies...isn't it amazing?

Back to Main Page