Maria Rosa Gil, principal of Elohim Christian School, knows what it’s like to grow up in the rough mountain communities of Arequipa, Peru. Her father was an alcoholic who could hardly hold down a job to support the family, and her mother was illiterate.
In 2003, Rosa left her job as a teacher at a Christian private school to start Elohim, a Christian school for poor children in Arequipa. Because of her background, she felt a special calling to help the 130 children who now attend the school. Most come from the same family situations as she did. Others worse.
“Many of the children are abused by relatives or forced to work in the streets to make money for food,” Rosa says. “Often parents are very poor and cannot afford food for their children.”
That’s why the food we provide to Elohim each month is such a blessing. The children are now able to have breakfast and lunch while they are at school. For some, it is the only meal they’ll have that day. Rosa says these meals have made a big difference. The children are no longer tired and sluggish — they are now able to absorb their lessons.
Elohim school is making a huge impact on the lives of these children. Rosa says her life alone is a testament to how through education someone can overcome a rough background and be a successful professional.
“Many of the children come to school sad and depressed because of their situations at home,” Rosa says. “They are grateful for the school because it brings happiness and hope into their lives.”
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