In my mind, I can still hear her cries of defeat and see the tears pouring down her face. I can see the “I am stupid” notes she had written on her school worksheets that day.
My precious eight-year-old daughter was fighting to overcome dyscalculia – basically the math version of dyslexia – and we had no idea. It was breaking my heart to watch her feel so defeated and worthless for not being able to keep up with her classmates.
As soon as we discovered her challenge, we pursued resources to help: tutors, new curriculum, online learning apps, teacher support, and even an Individualized Education Program.
I’m humbled and thankful to live in a country with resources like this so that my daughter can thrive in her education. Yet I’m sad to know that a quarter of a billion children in this world don’t have that same opportunity.
According to the UN’s Global Education Monitoring Report (GEMR), of the 385 million children living in extreme poverty, 258 million of them aren’t in school at all, and the other 127 million have virtually zero resources for special education.
For example, when Forward Edge’s Nicaragua program, Villa Esperanza, rescued girls from a local garbage dump, some came with learning disabilities, and all of them were years behind in school. And there were no special education programs in Nicaragua to help.
But that didn’t stop our staff from finding tutors and receiving specialized teams to help the Villa girls overcome their learning challenges. Each girl received a customized plan towards success. Without this level of support, they never would’ve been able to build a better future.
The ability to go deeper with each child in our programs is one of the things I love most about Forward Edge. We may not be reaching millions of children like other child sponsorship programs, but the depth of investment we have with our children is unmatched. Our location staff mentor each child, and learn their unique gifts, challenges and circumstances to find the best route for them to thrive. There’s no one size fits all with Forward Edge.