Martha is the reason for the Bergquist Foundation.
Four words changed Martha's life and the Bergquist's life. While selling soapstone gifts to Mr. Bergquist she was asked, "do you have family." Martha's answer, "I'm a widow, a mother of two, I live on $35 a month and the children are home alone." It was here that the foundation was established. Martha was funded to attend school, she was built a cinder block house, equipped with a computer and a printer, and she started her own business. The foundation provided funding for the children to attend boarding school. Mother Martha passed away while Rodger and Milkah were attending junior high. The foundation continued supporting the children through their college education.
Martha and her daughter
Thelma wanted students in her village to have classrooms. Ten years later, the Guatemala middle school was built.
10 years started with a dream. In 2009, Thelma had a dream: The best opportunity to service the education of the young.
With the arrival of Dennis Bergquist and friends in the city of Tecpán, Guatemala, he was beginning a friendship, a boon to the village, with Thelma who at the time was a student. A person who had many limitations, Thelma wanted better opportunities for her and all women her age in the education field.
All this was a dream, a dream that began with Thelma. The power of God through the Bergquist Foundation has made this dream a reality.
Built the Guatemalan school and furnished it with the help of a matching grant from Rotary International.
Thelma and many others dreamed of having a school with its own building; a facility that provides educational services efficiently to young people in rural communities of Tecpán, Guatemala.
By the grace of God, through the Bergquist Foundation, the Hutchinson, Minnesota Rotary, Kino Tucson, Arizona Rotary and support from Mr. Friedrich Baaz, the school became a reality.
Now, Middle School education is offered to young people who otherwise would have had many limitations. The educational center has major services; adequate fully furnished classrooms for students, a computer center with twenty computers, a tennis and basketball area for physical education, and a park where students spend time during the break of the day.
How You Can Help
Volunteers are needed to assist the present medical staff at the Village Clinic. Anessa Hoffmann a PA, Physician’s Assistant from Minnesota USA volunteered, assisting with the needs of patients. Contact the foundation or HAWI to provide medical services as a doctor, a nurse or caregiver in the Village Clinic. There an opportunity to volunteer as an ESL English second Language teacher as Maritina Fiabanova of Slovakia has at the Guatemala Middle School. Contact the foundation for more information.
Built a latrine and library test center. The test center was furnished with the help of Rotary International Grants.
The school faced closure because of lack of minimum requirements. There was hope when the Bergquist Foundation arrived. Uncle Alex remembers so vividly the words of Gasmiri Ongeti, his father a renowned teacher of his time, "My son did not leave this school to disappear or be destroyed by those people who don't know the value of education."
Two alumni from the school completed their university education two years ago, several others rank high in the Kenyan education system. The community is very proud. Being the only academy around, the study center helps local kids, but also those in other public schools during holidays. Knowledge is power. Our vision is arise and shine.
Mill & Sewing Center
The mill was funded by the Bergquist Foundation Donor, Food for Kidz. Mothers were walking 2 hours one way with maize on their head and a baby on their back to mill their maize. It would take 5 hours out of their day for the process.
Sewing machines were provided by mothers from the USA to be used to repair school uniforms and allow the village mothers to generate income for their families.
Adjusting Sewing Equipment
New Milling Center
(Need Picture of Dominick)
The Goat Project
The mothers of the village have not had milk for their children. Grace Point Church of Tucson, Arizona, and friends provided funds to start a village goat herd. Offspring will be distributed among the village mothers to create better diets for their families.
New Village Goats for Milk
(Need Picture of Stella)
The clinic was funded by the Bergquist Foundation Donor, Food for Kidz. The clinic provides medical services for the village of 6,000 staffed by a registered nurse/licensed midwife and a lab technician. The pharmacy was funded by a Rotary International grant and it provides the medicines required to treat patients. This has been a great Improvement as people had to travel 2 hours for medical assistance.
Maternal & Child Health
The Prenatal Clinic is open to meet Maternal and Child health concerns, a maternity ward, and delivery room are in place. The priority is to better equip the Prenatal Clinic. Mothers are birthing along the road in route to a facility which may not have water to meet the basic sanitary needs. This Clinic is meeting the women, children's short-term medical needs.
Rodgers obtained a Food and Beverage Service and Sales Degree and Milkah graduated with a B.S.N in nursing.
The Bergquist Foundation has provided full scholarships for Martha’s children. Rogers graduated from Kenya Utalii College with a diploma in Food and Beverage Service and Sales and is now employed in the food / beverage service industry. Milkah graduated from Masinde Muliro University with a BSN bachelor’s in nursing with a desire to work and consider a master’s in nursing which will require support to accomplish the goal. Click the button below to donate to her education.
Rogers with a diploma in Food &
Beverage Service & Sales
Milkah Gets Her Bachelors Degree