The School Sponsorship Project
in conjunction with CANFRO’s partner, The Centre of Hope for Children
Julio Matias is nearing the end of his studies in civil engineering in Oaxaca. He is the son of a bricklayer and a housewife, and he has five sisters, four of whom are in school, including two at university. His family recognizes the importance of education, and the barriers caused by its lack. His parents “always motivate us to continue studying because we know the situation is very difficult” for those who are not able to receive education, he says.
Julio’s pursuit of his educational dreams began four years ago with the help of CANFRO´s School Sponsorship Project delivered at the Centre of Hope for Children (CEI). His story shows the power of the partnership that can exist between a sponsor and parents who are determined to see their children succeed. For Julio, being sponsored means more than having his university expenses covered. The funding “motivates me to study with more enthusiasm because I feel that in this way I am taking good advantage of the support provided,” he says.
Canadian sponsor Paula Moore Ansell calls Julio “a pretty amazing guy.” She and her husband Don are deeply impressed by the family’s commitment to education. “He works so hard, as does his whole family,” she says. During a visit to Oaxaca Julio took Paula and Don to the market of his home town, Santa Maria, which is known for its unique and lovely verde pottery. This was followed by a wonderful tour up the mountain to the very important and evolving archeological dig of Atzompa.
Julio is very devoted to his family. He works with his father in his spare time, and sometimes manages to pop into CEI to tutor younger children in math. He hopes to find work in his profession, and gain experience in his field. He wants to have enough earnings to help his parents, save a little to launch himself in his adult life, and possibly pursue further studies. He relishes his parents’ pride in his and his sister’s achievements: “The fact that we continue to study reassures them that we aren’t wasting our time,” he says. “They feel very happy.”