In our first formal grant cycle since becoming a 501(c)(3) organization, Friends of FUNDAL awarded $1145 to FUNDAL for construction material in late 2011. FUNDAL had responded to FOF's request for a proposal, and applied for a construction project grant.

With FOF's commitment to education for deafblind children in Guatemala, the drab piles of bags of cement funded through FOF may look unrelated to multiply disabled children learning and interacting with their teachers, classmates, and parent volunteers. However, the cement is being used to make foundations for buildings for the new permanent FUNDAL campus near Guatemala City.

FUNDAL is working to raise funds for the new campus in order to receive a significant matching grant from the European Union. The FOF grant monies will be counted as part of the 20% of building costs FUNDAL must raise to receive the remaining 80% of building costs for this campus from the EU. Friends of FUNDAL is excited to be part of this effort, and grateful to all the donors whose gifts made this grant possible.

The new campus will increase accessibility for FUNDAL in four significant ways:

  1. Access for More Students: The new campus will be larger, allowing FUNDAL to serve 300 students in their target population, up from the 180 students currently served. FUNDAL strives to double the number of students served each year. As part of that, FUNDAL is also developing a program to provide educational and functional assessments, along with short-term training in compensatory skills and remedial academics, for students from the school for the deaf who have additional challenges to learning, e.g. cognitive impairments, cerebral palsy.
  2. Mobility Access for Students: FUNDAL's current campus is cramped onto the founder family's home property, presenting accessibility challenges for students who have wheelchair, walkers, or difficulty walking. The new campus is being designed with those needs in mind, so students will have access to the playground, and other facilities, without the impediment of long steep ramps or stairs. Additionally classroom sizes and layout will be improved.
  3. Transportation Access for Staff, Families, and Students: The current campus, on a rutted dirt road, is only accessible through a locked gate at the entrance to that part of Mixco. The new campus is being built in Mixco (adjacent to Guatemala City), next to paved public roads, making it more geographically accessible to staff and families, especially low income or other families in the area who walk and/or use the public transportation system. Families are an integral part of FUNDAL, as they volunteer at the school and receive training so that what students learn at school is carried over into their lives in their families and communities. Staff time previously used to do transportation runs to get staff and family past the gates and down the dirt road will be used for FUNDAL programs.
  4. Access to the Community: The new location of the campus will allow increased opportunities for students to have vocational training experiences out in the community, as well as educational field trips. The increased visibility of and access to the school within Mixco/Guatemala City may help in increasing the pool of volunteers and decreasing the stigma these students and their families face.


Previous News from FOF