On behalf of the Board of the Magdalena Foundation, Inc., I thank you for your support and contributions last year. In 2006, MFI collected a total of $14,403.02 in net donations. On January 13, 2006, we will award 28 scholarships.
MFI is registered as a non-profit organization and your contributions are exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (a) of the IRS code. Our number of incorporation is 0439045-6.
This year, the social programs carried out by our scholars will be greatly expanded. As in the past two years, our scholars will work with FUNDEHUMAC, our sister foundation, on the Paso a Paso initiative sponsored by the Friends of Colombia (former Peace Corps in Colombia). This initiative provides clothing, school fees, books and supplies to children in elementary schools. In 2007, the program will expand into secondary schools. We will work with 10 children in elementary and 5 in secondary school. This program will provide continuity until they reach the ultimate college or superior technical education diploma. Our scholars mentor these students as well as other students in the selected schools and provide a complete support system for these children. This is a very unique program and you should be proud to be part of it. Thank you. If you wish to learn more about our graduated students please click here.
As in the past, Fundehumac received over 250 gifts for the holidays and our students prepared a theatrical skit and sung seasonal songs in communities around Santa Marta where they distributed those gifts. This year, we also distributed gifts among indigenous families who were displaced by the internal turmoil in Colombia. This coming year our programs include indigenous children and a university scholar. In addition, under the Colombia Project sponsored by former Peace Corps volunteers in Southern Florida, our students have coached mothers heads of families and they are now organized and progressing with their micro-enterprise efforts. We are making amazing contributions in the lives of hundreds of families in Colombia. Visit us at: www.magdalenafoundation.org to learn more about our students and the activities in which they are involved. Also, if you read Spanish, visit: www.fundehumac.org.
On July 21st, we awarded 5 new scholarships and graduated 3 students. Jorge Manjarres and Alexander Cuello received their college degrees in business administration. Arthur Burgos graduated as an electronic engineer. Anibal Lopez and Elkin Bolaño completed their technical studies in computer systems and will continue their academic program to become full professionals in two years.
It is important to mention that the 16 children that were adopted under the Paso a Paso program have increased to 42 due to the contagion effect. The children that began to receive economic and mentoring support in the program told other children in their classrooms about the activities in which they participated. Consequently, other children wanted to be included and the program could not discourage them. Now, the mentors of Paso a Paso have decided to control the access to the program to future children due to economic constraints and the lack of human resources.
In addition to the above experience, MFI had to increase the size of the scholarships by US$100, per year, due to the fall of the dollar value. This affects the amount of scholarships that can be awarded in the future although there are many candidates who would like to be scholarship recipients.
On behalf of the board of the Magdalena Foundation, Inc. I wish you a peaceful and healthy 2007. I am deeply grateful for your support.
Haroldo L. Suarez