October is Fair Trade Month. We celebrate how this socially conscious supply chain model supports countless producers and their families. How fitting it is that our Fair Trade sales will support an institution that is also committed to making a difference.
We are thrilled to welcome St Francis Xavier College Church parishioners and friends to our store for a Week of Giving. The funds we raise together will directly benefit their sister parish, Parroquia La Natividad de la Virgen Maria, located in the Municipality of Santa Maria Chiquimula, in Totonicapan, Guatemala and their many programs.
YOU play a huge role in the success of this fundraising effort.
- WHAT: Shop Fair Trade for Mom at our store located at 3211 South Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 63118. You can also shop online.
- WHEN: Tuesday, October 18 to Friday, October 21 (11AM - 8PM)
- RESULT: we will donate 15% of all sales (in-store or online) to St. Francis Xavier College Church
Here is how these funds will be supporting the many programs that directly benefit people, mostly women and children, of La Natividad.
La Natividad commits itself to meeting unmet needs in their community--similar to College Church's commitment to Social Ministries. La Natividad provides quality education and access to healthcare for their parish community and the larger community of Santa Maria Chiquimula.
College Church financially supports Nim Ja, the Health Clinic, and the Women and Children's Health Development Program. In addition to these 3 programs, La Natividad also runs a Fe y Alegria School, Myrna Mack, which offers education for preschool and primary grades. Nim Ja also offers education for middle school aged children, the Kamam K'iche Research Center and a farm.
Nim Ja is the secondary school and boarding school for La Natividad. Nim Ja focuses on providing students with a holistic education complimented with vocational training.
The education at Nim Ja consists of Math, Literature, Religion, Spanish, English, Kiche, Geography/Social Studies, Science, Music, Dance, and Computer and Audiovisual. It also includes the farm school where students learn agricultural skills and participate in vocational training in welding, carpentry, and cooking.
College Church's financial support allows La Natividad to employ certified teachers offsetting the cost of education for the students. It is difficult to maintain certified teachers because other schools in larger towns and cities offer competitive salary. Our support allows La Natividad to compete with employing certified teachers to offer quality, holistic education to the students. Without College Church's financial support, La Natividad would not be able to offer the level of education they currently provide.
La Natividad operates the only health clinic that speaks K'iche. Their health clinic is the only clinic within a 1 hour radius of Santa Maria Chiquimula. The staff includes a full-time certified nurse (similar to a nurse practitioner), a full-time pharmacist, and a part-time doctor who comes to see patients two days per week.
The health clinic offers basic health care and tests (i.e. blood tests) and a small pharmacy.
College Church's financial support allows La Natividad to employ a highly qualified, full time certified nurse and support of some their other costs to operate the clinic. This allows the health clinic to operate 6 days a week and offer health care to the parish community and Santa Maria Chiquimula community that would otherwise be a minimum of an hour away.
Women and Children's Health Development Program
The health development program serves expectant women, mothers, children, and women widows in the surrounding 37 communities. The health team--Nurse, Pharmacist, and staff assistant, travel to 2-3 communities 3 days a week. They visit each community one time a month. During these visits, they weigh the children, measure their height, and growth, and offer educational programs on various topics related to caring for infants, children, and healthcare needs. For example, they educate on dental hygiene, bathing, and nutrition. As part of this program, the women are able to receive nutritional food and supplements at a subsidized cost. A typical food package includes rice, canned salmon, beans, dry nutritional milk, and other nutritional supplements. This program allows families who live in the rural highland areas access health care and health development as well as nutritional food and supplements. Most communities are at a minimum 45 minutes away from town by car in the mountains.
Additionally, funds raised by St Francis Xavier College Church go to support a primary school at La Natividad, Myrna Mack; Kamam, a research center that focuses on K'iche translation as well as preserving K'iche language and stories.
As you can see, every dollar counts and we can all alleviate poverty, reduce maternal mortality and child malnutrition. These funds also provide education and therefore a brighter future for hundreds of children.
Thank you for your support! All Fair Trade sales matter. Shop now
If shopping is not in your plans this week but would like to support Sr Francis Xavier College Church, please consider making a donation (make sure you designate your gift to La Natividad Parish. Thanks!