For the first time, we celebrated the award ceremony at the Roque Morelli Auditorium in the University of Magdalena. This is an appropriate place to bring our scholars to receive our support and to introduce the children of Paso a Paso to an institution of higher learning. MFI sponsors about 80% of our scholars who study at this university.
At present, we have 20 students in the program and two of them are sponsored by the Grupo Bolivar-Zuana in Santa Marta. This business conglomerate began to support the Paso a Paso program and accepted our suggestion to direct their resources into superior education for children who graduated from high school. Six other students are sponsored by individual donors who have pledged to help them until December 2014. Four of these students are supported by members of Friends of Colombia, one by a RPCV from Tonga and a member of MFI board and the sixth student is sponsored by a Canadian professor in B.C., Canada.
As we continue working in Colombia, we have received help from friends and a retired Colombian professor contributes the equivalent of a scholarship and his contribution helps to pay for our administrative costs of the foundation in Colombia. Another friend who is a pediatrician provides his professional services free of charge to children who seek his help.
We must also recognize that some students who have graduated make meaningful contributions to our work and this provides a badly needed resource which we could no afford otherwise. Our kudos go to all of them.
On behalf of the Board of MFI, I express my deepest gratitude to all our donors.