Jan 2011 Newsletter of La Esperanza Granada, Nicaragua

I have a special connection to La Esperanza Granada in Nicaragua. I read their newsletters every month, and I would like to share this one with you :

What a full month we have had here, so much has happened, so I will give you the highlights and trust the pictures to tell the story:

 ·        The fence for the high school in San Ignacio was completed, with the wall of the latrines forming part of the fence.

·        Westfield State College students led by  Christin Cleaton Ruiz, Kathi Bradford and Catherine Savini, made an enormous contribution to the new high school.  They raised sufficient money, and came and labored for a week, to build the walls of three classrooms (one building) of the high school half way up.  They had a great week here with us, and are hoping to stay involved with this project.  Work has now stopped on the high school, but Karin van Eijk is gathering funds, and the students from Westfield will be trying too, also Amped for Education, so hopefully we will make further progress with it soon.

·        Professors Soraya, Raul and Jose completed work on the textbook/activity book for the course we will be hosting this year on protecting the environment and renewable energy.  Thanks to the Body Shop foundation, this will be taught to all the grade 3 and 4 children in the schools where we work, and so exciting for the children, each will have their own book, with a space for their name on the cover.  Often there is only one textbook per classroom here.

·        Our three summer schools have been running all month, next week is the last week, and we have over 150 students attending.  Kathleen Pillie and other visitors who came with the Archdiocese of New Orleans Mission Group came and did eye testing with all the children last week.

·        New faces as ayudantes, plus some new university scholarships through Grupo 2013 in Spain – now we have 20 young people attending university, 14  of who are full time volunteers in our ayudante program, plus this year  75 sponsored to attend high school.  (we are still looking for a few more high school sponsors).

·        Our first home renovation project happened last week!  Dalia Ramirez won the raffle we held of students with the best attendance at San Ignacio, and the Ramirez family got a full home makeover.  T.J. Swearengin and his friends ‘The Carpenters’ funded this and did all the work too laboring each day, along with a little assistance from our local builder.   All four. T.J., Chad, Josh and Guy, have desk jobs, and despite the name ‘Carpenters’ are really average home handymen, but they did a wonderful job – I’m adding an extra photo link just for this as they are such great pictures, before, during and after.

Former volunteer, Ciaran Tierney, returned home to Ireland at Christmas after a spell in Central America in which he spent ten weeks with La Esperanza Granada. Here, he reflects on how his experiences in Nicaragua contrasted with the current ‘crisis’ in his own country.

 And finally two photo links for this month :

And a special on the house renovation:

A great start to 2011,  hope all of you had a good start too, from all of us here,

Regards, Pauline.

Note: In orginal newsletter you can find a list of people who made donations, brought goods and volunteers coming to teach this new school year.


February 5, 2011 Posted by | Volunteering | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

CASA Volunteer Project

CASA volunteers are everyday citizens, judges appoint to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who have been removed from their homes due to parental abuse and neglect. They stand up for these children and change their lives.

History: In 1977, a Seattle juvenile court judge concerned about making drastic decisions with insufficient information conceived the idea of citizen volunteers speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom. From that first program has grown a network of more than 1,000 CASA and guardian ad litem program offices that are recruiting, training and supporting volunteers in 49 states. Read more about the history of the CASA movement

Last year, more than 70,900 CASA and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers helped 237,000 abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes. Each year, more than 700,000 children experience foster care in this country. Because there are not enough CASA volunteers to represent all of the children in care, judges typically assign CASA volunteers to their most difficult cases.

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

CASA volunteers make a difference in the lives of foster children, one child at a time, by ensuring they receive the support and help they deserve.

Are you looking for ways to get involved with CASA? Whether you have lots of time or little time to contribute, whether you want to work directly with a child in need or would rather help with social events, there is a volunteer opportunity that is the right fit for you.

Find out more about how to participate in CASA Boston,  New York City, LA or find another city

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Volunteering | , , , , , | Leave a comment