Alleviate suffering. Illuminate the mind. Ignite the Spirit.
August 11, 2017

Add Some Sparkle to the School Year

Do you remember the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?

Ty Pennington, the host and quirky carpenter extraordinaire, would come to town to help people who had touching stories and crumbling homes. Within a week, Ty and the makeover team would rebuild their house, outfit it with sweet gizmos and gadgets, and throw a new car in the mix, too.

MA Guatemala playgroundThe family would come home from a week of show-sponsored pampering, excited to see their newly refurbished home. A giant semi-truck with “EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION” emblazoned on the trailer would be parked in front of the house, blocking it from view.

Ty and the inspiring family would yell in unison, “MOVE THAT TRUCK!” and as if by magic, the truck would move aside to reveal the new home. It was always met with joy, excitement, awe, and--more often than not--tears.

You always felt awesome at the end of an episode, like you had been part of something incredible, something that made a much-needed difference in someone’s life. But here’s the thing—all you did was watch the show.

This time, you can do more than just watch that "something incredible" unfold--you can actually be part of the reason it happens. You can be the one who makes a much-needed difference in someone’s life. You can help Mano Amiga schools around the world get an extreme makeover of their own.

"Extreme Makeover: School Edition"

Give Now ButtonOf course, we are in no way associated with this television show, Ty Pennington, or ABC (the network home of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). We won’t be able to show up to a Mano Amiga school with a semi and a quirky carpenter-turned-TV-host and completely overhaul an entire school building.

In fact, that’s not even our goal. Our goal is to provide Mano Amiga schools with the means to make their most urgently-needed improvements in order to safely educate their students—children who are among the poorest of the poor. 

“Some pretty incredible things can happen when people come together.” - Ty Pennington, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

There are over 38 Mano Amiga schools around the world, primarily in Central America, South America, and the Philippines. Your generosity impacts all of these schools, and makes it possible for them to educate thousands of students. Here, we'll highlight some of this year's greatest needs:

  • Mano Amiga Guatemala: the school desperately needs a water pump because of the frequent lapses in the municipal water supply. Many classrooms have no windows, so the school needs better lighting and ventilation. The director has also asked for help building a better playground—all they have now is a splintery old slide on an undeveloped patch of dirt.

  • Mano Amiga Mexico: the original doors and windows are falling apart and becoming dangerous. The high winds in Querétaro make it vitally important to have better, structurally sound windows and doors—otherwise, the inclement weather makes them a hazard to the children rather than the proper protection windows and doors should be.

  • Mano Amiga Philippines: Temperatures inside the classrooms can reach nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit—so hot that it’s impossible for students to focus. It’s even gotten so hot that some of the technological equipment teachers rely on to present their lessons in an engaging way has been damaged and made useless! Other essential needs include waste disposal and improved security for the campus.

Without you, these vital repairs will go undone for another year. As Ty Pennington once said, “Some pretty incredible things can happen when people come together.” Let’s come together and do something incredible.  

You can read more about these Mano Amiga campuses and student bios below.

A Little Can Do a Lot

In the communities in which Mano Amigo serves, a little bit of generosity can add a lot of sparkle:

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Give Now

Mano Amiga Guatemala—Gender Disparity and Cyclical Poverty Pose Key Challenges

Guatemala has deep roots in ancient Mayan culture. Indigenous Maya make up nearly half of Guatemala’s population. Spanish is the official language, with nearly 20 other indigenous languages spoken throughout the country.

The Global Education Fund reports that of the 2 million children in Guatemala not in school, most of them are indigenous girls living in poor rural areas. These girls are most often kept from receiving education because of cultural expectations that they stay home and help care for siblings and perform other household duties. Their families usually cannot afford school fees, uniforms, or textbooks, even if familial demands don’t prevent the girls from going to school. 

Mano Amiga Guatemala, located in Cristo Rey Piedra Parada, about a half hour drive from Guatemala City, has big goals for its students. Founded in 2006, it currently has 160 children enrolled, ages 5-11. They hope to one day enroll 800 students, and provide kindergarten through high school. Until that can happen, though, Mano Amiga Guatemala needs to build a safe, new playground, better lighting and ventilation, and a new water pump so the students can have clean drinking water. 

Mano Amiga Mexico – Querétaro School and Families Need Your Help!

At Mano Amigo Querétaro in Mexico, structural needs are great. Doors and windows are falling apart. Located in mountainous central Mexico, where high desert winds can reach gust speeds of nearly 30 miles per hour, proper doors and windows are critical to keep the children safe and sheltered during the day.

Meet Ceci

Ceci_CaptionCeci, short for Cecilia, is one of the inspiring students at Mano Amiga Querétaro. Her parents are truly heroic. Vero, Ceci’s mother, was raised in the Otomí tribe—one of 62 indigenous tribes in Mexico—and was disowned by her family and community because she married a man from a different tribe. However, because of Ceci's parents’ indigenous background, they do not speak Spanish, making it very hard to find work. They sell candy at a stand outside the bus station to make ends meet.

Every day after school Ceci goes to Vero’s candy stand where she eats, plays, and does her homework no matter the weather. Vero works hard to instill a sense of dignity in her daughters. Despite their poverty, Vero gets Ceci to school on time each day, looking clean and sharp in her little school uniform.

Vero’s younger daughter, Andrea, was born with microcephaly, a birth defect resulting in a small skull and many developmental issues. Andrea, now 3, is beginning to walk and say her first words, thanks to Vero’s commitment to taking her to all of her occupational and developmental therapy sessions.

Your support makes it possible for this inspiring family to continue to live in ever-increasing dignity and to thrive despite the challenges of poverty.  



Mano Amiga Philippines – Reniel has big dreams thanks to Mano AmigaReniel - Caption

In the Philippines, about a quarter of the population lives in poverty. Mano Amiga Philippines serves some of the poorest families in Paranaque. Reniel is one of the students there. He has two brothers and a sister. His dad is a barber while his mom is a homemaker. Reniel’s teachers tell us that he has grown leaps and bounds since he first started at Mano Amiga two years ago. He used to be very quiet and very shy but with the love and support of his Mano Amiga school community, his confidence has grown. He loves math and science and excels in hands-on activities. He loves soccer and basketball and says that when he grows up, he wants to be “a police” because he “will arrest all the bad guys and bring peace to the community.”

Please give today so that Mano Amiga Philippines can install a new air conditioning system—Reniel and his classmates struggle to focus when classroom temperatures climb to nearly 100 degrees!

Mano Amiga’s Six-Pillar Approach Impacts Students and Families

A Mano Amiga education is built on six integral pillars: high quality education; committed teachers; personalized attention; home and family support; well-rounded formation; and an "innovation approach" to education.

Mano Amiga is also a different kind of school because their influence doesn’t stop with the students. Mano Amiga school communities rally together to help students’ families, too

Little Schools, Big Goals

Mano Amiga schools are making a tangible difference in the lives of thousands of poor children around the world. Mano Amiga schools meet these children and their families right where they are and provide a quality, affordable education for the kids and practical knowledge and assistance for their families that changes their lives today, and give them hope for an ever-improving future.

You can be part of this legacy today! Help break the cycle of poverty with a gift of:

  • $25 to buy backpacks or shoes
  • $50 to help with school uniforms and textbooks
  • $75  to help fix leaky roofs, crumbling walls, decrepit windows and doors, and other school repairs
  • $100 to help repair or replace broken AC units
  • $200 to help provide a pump for clean water
  • $350 to help provide desks, tables, and blackboards for classrooms  

Any amount you can give will make an immediate impact.

Please, give today. 

give now!

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Read the full campaign here.