In light of the current health crisis in our world, I wanted to share some good news on behalf of Amigos en Accion. Before beginning, I want to say that I hope that all of you are staying healthy and safe during these difficult times and are adjusting to your new normal. There are two confirmed cases in Nicaragua, and we are staying informed and taking actions to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in the program.
Earlier this month, we officially started up the program for the 2020 school year, and we are thrilled to share that we have 38 students currently enrolled and actively participating in Amigos en Accion! This represents a 50% increase in our enrollment compared to the 2019 school year. We are now in our fifth year of providing this program to Ciudad Hermana Scholarship recipients and other children from the community, and part of the fruits of this labor is our growing reputation in the community and respect for the services that we provide. It is certainly quite the responsibility to support so many students, but it is also a blessing to have the opportunity to positively influence their young lives.
Currently, we have suspended class in the program until after Holy Week to ensure the safety of all of our students, staff, and families. Regular classes in the public schools have not been suspended officially, but in conversations with the school directors, we have learned that only about 30% of the student population is attending class currently. After Holy Week (which is the first scheduled school break), we will evaluate the situation and see if it is safe for us to return to the program, and to see how the schools will proceed in getting students caught up with assignments and exams to be sure that we can support them to the best of our abilities.
During the first few weeks of the program, we focused on getting to know each other and establishing routines to ensure that our students get used to the rhythm of the program and are able to get their homework done and have enough time to enjoy their snack and English class or other activities. Due to the increase in enrollment, we have had to change how we function to ensure that we are providing the best possible services to our students. We are lucky to have access to two different classrooms within the same building, so Martha and I have split the students into two groups during homework time, each of us working with one group to be sure that they all get the attention and help they need in doing their homework, studying, and practicing skills. To ensure that the snack is prepared and served on time, we have asked the woman who cleans the center to take charge of the snack; she has been such an asset to the program, and all of our students comment about how nice and helpful she is! It is such a pleasure to watch these children get to know each other and build new friendships, and we hope that we can return to class after Holy Week to continue learning and growing together.
Due to our increased enrollment, increasing the duties of the cleaner, the cancellation of group trips that would have brought in much needed funds, and other changes, we are in need of increased financial support to ensure that we can keep our program open. If you are able to support us with a donation, we would be deeply grateful. No amount is to small, and 100% of donations go directly to supporting the program, thanks to the incredible support that JOS provides. If you would like to make a donation, you can follow the link below for more details – be sure to designate Amigos en Accion as the recipient of your donation:
Thank you all for your support of Amigos en Accion!
Ashley Sullivan and Martha Rojas