The Jefferson’s Rotary Club made a donation to “Cooperative for Education,” a non-profit charity that focuses on assisting school children in Guatemala.
The donation was made in honor of Jeff Taylor, the Rotary Club’s secretary who also has deep ties to CoEd.
“This is the first international project this group has been involved in,” said Taylor.
A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, CoEd provides educational resources, like textbooks, computers, reading and scholarship programs to indigenous Mayan school children in Guatemala’s Highlands.
According to CoEd’s website, “CoEd strives to address the root causes of poverty in Guatemala, rather than merely treating its symptoms.”
CoEd was founded in 1996, when Joe and Jeff Berninger left their successful careers at IBM and Procter & Gamble to address poverty in Guatemala. The deicated themselves to that cause after visiting and falling in love with the region and seeing how rampant poverty affected the locals.
One of the root causes for poverty in Guatemala is the nation’s educational system.
“After the sixth-grade, education is no longer sponsored by the Guatemalan government,” said Mitch Phillips, the assistant secretary of the Jefferson’s Rotary Club.
When Phillips and Taylor met with the Berninger brothers on behalf of the Jefferson’s Rotary Club, Taylor felt at home. He has been working with CoEd since the group’s establishment in 1996. Since then, he has visited Guatemala nine times, and said he hopes to get more people involved.
“I’m hoping we can get more (Rotary Club) members to go down (to Guatemala) and see how their money has been spent,” said Taylor.