In 2008, MFI collected a total of $17,082.00.00 in net donations. This is $938.00 higher than in 2007. This is a remarkable accomplishment, if we consider the economic slowdown and that we lost two important donors because of the weak real estate and commercial sectors.
This year, the ceremony in Colombia took place on January 24th, in the Cajamag auditorium, and we awarded 16 scholarships. We welcomed a boy and a girl from Paso a Paso, (the young children’s program supported by the former Peace Corps Volunteers in Colombia). Paso a Paso includes children in elementary and high school. Four additional students joined the program for a total of 16 scholarships in 2009. Of the 16 current scholars, nine are women.
Last year, ten students graduated from college and they are fully employed. They are now contributing to their families’ welfare. Two additional students dropped out the program.
As a requirement, MFI expects its scholars to engage in a social activity. Consequently, six students work continually with the children in Paso a Paso and eight others, including four graduated students, work with women, victims of the violence.
Last year, eight students worked in a project that helps women who have lost family members and were abused during past violent times, five of them are graduated. This project is financed by the United Nations and works in cooperation with the Human Rights Commission in Colombia. The project is administered by Fundehumac, our sister organization in Colombia, which also coordinates the Magdalena Foundation’s scholarship program. This project will continue in 2009 in the Guajira and Magdalena states and includes indigenous families.