SalvAide is continuing to strengthen its partnership with Ottawa Catholic High Schools Holy Trinity and St. Francis Xavier. After successful visits to El Salvador in February 2013, each school made outstanding contributions to their respective SalvAide-facilitated community education projects.
Earlier this year, St. Francis Xavier donated an unprecedented $10,000 to the Cinquera Community Scholarship Project supporting university students as they continue their education. St. Francis Xavier partnered with the Cabañas province community of Cinquera in 2011. Cinquera was repopulated by refugees who had been driven out of their homes by the Salvadoran Armed Forces during El Salvador's civil war from 1980-1992. The community boasts a beautiful forest and protected area that attracts eco-tourists interested in the political-cultural history of the former conflict zone. With its latest donation, St. Francis Xavier has contributed close to $25,000 to Cinquera's scholarship program. The program makes it easier for keen high school graduates to continue their education in university. And the beneficiaries give back to their community. Scholarship recipients also work as community organizers helping to build solidarity and social justice in Cinquera.
SalvAide would like to recognize the tireless commitment of Sister Shelley Lawrence, the St. Francis Xavier - Cinquera program founder, who retires in 2013 as St. Francis Xavier's Chaplain. We sincerely thank Sister Shelley for her solidarity and wish her nothing but the best in her much deserved retirement!
In May, Holy Trinity High School added more than $9,000 to its incredible ongoing support of community education in San José Las Flores, Chalatenango province. Like Cinquera, Las Flores was one of the first communities repopulated by refugees during the civil war. Despite great odds, the community is an example of what solidarity and collective organization can achieve. To date, Holy Trinity students and teachers have contributed over $35,000 for education-based community projects in San José Las Flores, including a brand new computer lab and repairs to the town's school. Through its Grad Legacy Program, Holy Trinity is also assisting a young woman from San José Las Flores complete her Bachillerato (an education level roughly equivalent to Québec's Cégep system) through a yearly scholarship. And, one of Holy Trinity's feeder elementary schools, Holy Redeemer, fundraised nearly $1,300 for SalvAide's San José Las Flores Community Education Project.
The entire SalvAide family in Canada and our partners in San José Las Flores and Cinquera in El Salvador are sincerely thankful for Holy Trinity and St. Francis Xavier's solidarity, and we look forward to continuing our partnership for years to come.