Sael is 15 years old and lives in the rural village of Majada Verde. Together with his parents, and his three siblings, Sael lives in a small house. He shares a bed with his brother Joel who is 2 years younger. Sael is a soft-spoken and cautious boy, who always carries a cheeky smile.
Everyday Sael and Joel have to go and collect firewood for the oven/fireplace their mother uses in the kitchen. Equipped with machetes, the two walk for about 30 minutes to a spot which still holds enough firewood. A while ago they didn´t have to walk so far, but as Sael puts it: “We are not the only ones collecting firewood in this area.” After they cut down some fallen trees, they put as much wood as possible on their shoulder and walk all the way back to their house. Once or twice a day the family gathers to eat. Unless they butchered one of their chickens, the menu mostly says beans with corn tortillas. Since we just recently found sponsoring parents, Sael and his brother merely attend the 2nd grade. Before, their parents simply didn´t have the means to send the two boys to school. “I like school. It’s interesting and a good change to the usual things happening here.” Sael said. He later tells us that he would like to continue to secondary school and maybe even to university.
For children such as Sael, the knowledge and skills developed through education provide access to the working world and eventually access to a much better quality of life. Thanks to Sael´s sponsoring parents, he continues to have the opportunity to receive education, gets warm lunch on a regular school day as well as healthcare in case he gets sick.