Please help us support an organization that is helping kids in poor communities in Nicaragua go to school!
Thanks so much for stopping by our fundraising page!
We just spent a week with Empowerment International in Nicaragua and are volunteering with them remotely throughout the year. They're a fantastic organization, and they do incredible work on a very small budget ... this means that even small donations make a big difference. This organization means a lot to us - we've had great experiences seeing first-hand how much good they're doing and believe strongly in their mission and programs. Take a look at our video from our trip to get a feel for the lives of the families and the work of Empowerment International.
So if you're willing to donate a little to help us reach our fundraising goals we won't forget it, and it will mean so much to us. We visited one of the children that we sponsor - if you sponsor a child we hope to meet them on our next trip and share the meeting with you!
Empowerment International helps children from two very poor neighborhoods in Nicaragua go to school and succeed in their education. Less than 50% of Nicaraguan children do not complete 5th grade, so this work is critical. They work in an urban slum on the outskirts of Granada and in an isolated rural community. They achieve this by:
- Buying uniforms, shoes, backpacks, pencils, and notebooks. This removes a material barrier to education.
- Regular home visits with each family to support and encourage the students and parents. Many of the parents did not attend school themselves, or only made it to around 3rd grade. Prior to the Empowerment International program, many parents did not see the value of education and instead sent their kids out to work on the streets to bring in money. The home visits are designed to keep the parents engaged in the program, help the kids with any problems, and provide encouragement - and are turning the tide in attitudes toward education in the community.
- After-school tutoring program: Many parents who do send their kids to school have trouble supporting them, since they cannot read and write themselves. In the tutoring program, teenagers who are themselves in the program tutor the younger kids - in many cases teaching them to read and write for the first time. This has had the amazing effect of not only improving the reading and writing skills of the younger kids, but it's helped keep the teenagers in school and out of trouble - they have stepped up to their new responsibilities and see themselves as respected members of their community.
- Vouchers for visits to a health clinic: The organization also provides vouchers for a health clinic, so families can seek medical help if they need. .
What they are really doing is empowering an entire community, transforming it from within and breaking the cycle of poverty before it transfers to yet another generation. The program is being progressively handed over to the community so that it will be sustainable beyond the involvement of foreigners. It's really incredible to see this transition beginning. Two of the program's first university students are now working as interns for the program. Kids are coming and asking if they can be part of the tutoring program. We watched a young mother, who cannot read herself, declare that the best birthday present was to watch her children reading. This is a real change of attitudes since EI first started working here and testiment to the hard work of a very committed group of people within the organization.
Thanks for reading, and if you make a donation THANKS even more!
Emma and Jamie.