International Literacy Day 2020: Children in El Salvador Master English Skills with Help of Textbooks from FFTP

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Sept. 8, 2020) As Food For The Poor commemorates International Literacy Day today, children in El Salvador are learning to love to read while improving their English literacy skills through a bilingual education program, thanks to the charity and longtime partner Brother’s Brother Foundation.

The Pittsburgh-based foundation provided three tractor-trailers filled with English textbooks to Food For The Poor, which were donated to Fundacion Salvadorena para la Salud, or FUSAL, one of the charity’s in-country partners in El Salvador.

FUSAL provided 18 pallets of textbooks to students of the Ricardo Poma Education Complex, located at Residencial Libertad, an at-risk community in El Salvador.

In 2014, FUSAL’s sister foundation, the Salvadoran American Humanitarian Foundation, began supporting an English program at Residencial Libertad, where more than 1,000 children from kindergarten to high school learn valuable English skills.

“The English language textbooks donated by Food For The Poor and its partner, Brother’s Brother Foundation, enhances these children’s learning experience,” said Carlos Reyes, Executive Director of the Salvadoran American Health Foundation. “It gives them a valuable tool they otherwise would not have to improve their writing and reading skills, so they can be on their way to being fully bilingual.”

In El Salvador, being bilingual offers the opportunity to earn three times the minimum monthly salary, Reyes said.

“This translates to a better life for these children and their families, as they begin to break away from the cycle of poverty they find themselves in,” Reyes said.

Through their efforts:

  • A total of 1,044 students participated and completed a yearlong English program.
  • Twenty reinforcement classes were taught by the same students from the educational complex to their peers.
  • Thirteen students participated in an English spelling bee organized by the Ministry of Education.
  • More than 80 percent of the kindergarten children developed skills to understand and reproduce short sentences in English; 84 percent of the first-cycle students, the equivalent of first to third grade, developed basic communications skills in English; 90 percent of second-cycle students, or fourth to sixth grades, developed communication skills at a level they can both communicate and understand everyday situations; and 94 percent of third-cycle students, or seventh to ninth grade, acquired basic-level grammar and translation skills.
September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO in 1966 to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that exist within local communities as well as globally.

Food For The Poor EVP & Chief Marketing Officer Angel Aloma said the donated textbooks and the bilingual education program provided by the Salvadoran American Health Foundation will have a lasting positive impact on students and their families.

“Education is the beginning of the end of poverty,” Aloma said. “Every child is worthy to receive the gift of literacy. With these textbooks and English skills, they have the building blocks and hope for a better life.”

Watch a video of the students demonstrating their new English skills.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned and abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054