Many Gentiana children bear heavily the consequences of extreme poverty, their parents' behavior, domestic violence. One kind of first aid is the Gentiana Mentorship Program. Groups of five or six children from the upper classes regularly discuss their everyday problems with a teacher, with astonishing openness, by the way. The children realize that others have to cope with the same difficulties, they exchange tips and advice. And above all, they realize that the school takes these needs of the children seriously and helps, and in the case of traumatized children is ready to involve professionals if the children wish.
Material assistance, a pair of new shoes or clothes, are easier. About four dozen children receive additional food items, especially during vacations when school lunches are cancelled. From this perspective alone, the Gentiana social program, led by a trained social worker, is a most welcome institution. It finances school meals (snack and lunch) and pays for medical expenses when children are sick or have an accident. And in some cases, the program also pays for the rent of the tin shelter - out of the very simple realization that children who go hungry or don't have a roof over their heads can't concentrate on learning.
What to do with financially disadvantaged youth who have graduated from Gentiana Primary School and in the future Gentiana Junior Secondary School? This is where the Gentiana scholarship programs come in. Depending on the degree, they pay the school fees for higher grades, senior secondary school, vocational schools, technical colleges and universities. However, the parents must participate with a modest contribution, they must not simply shift the responsibility for the children to Gentiana. The USAWA girls' development program is particularly important. The experience of recent years shows that young women with a higher education or a completed vocational training are more likely to succeed in building a self-determined existence.
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