Believe it or not, another school year is quickly coming to a close in Amigos en Accion, here in El Sauce, Nicaragua.
Amigos en Acción has been off to a great start this year, and we have so much that we would like to share with you! First, since we haven’t done it yet, we would like to give you a bit of a recap of 2018. It was a fabulous year in the program, in spite of the socio-political issues that began in April 2018. One of the things that made last year so special is the fact that it was our first group of students to participate in the program for the full three years (students who begin the program in 4th grade have the opportunity to participate until they graduate from 6th grade). These students will always hold a special place in our hearts, as they were our “guinea pigs” in everything, and they were an incredible group of students. They grew so much intellectually, physically, and emotionally in the three years that they were in the program. We watched them develop new friendships, work through obstacles, and develop skills to deal with the trials of daily life. And, oh, how they grew in English! I am so proud of how much they learned in those three years, and especially of their willingness and excitement to learn something as new and strange as English – because let’s be honest, English is a tough language to learn if it’s not your native language! As much as miss them this year in the program, we are excited to see how they will continue to learn and grow as they begin secondary school.
In December 2018, co-founders Ashley Sullivan and Martha Rojas had the opportunity to travel to Rochester, NY thanks to Ciudad Hermana Rochester – El Sauce and a generous grant from the Paul Wenger Fund for Peace Through International Understanding through the First Unitarian Church of Rochester. During the visit, we had the opportunity to meet with past donors and connect with new ones through presentations at various public and private schools, universities, churches, and other organizations and groups in the area. We are deeply grateful to those who opened their doors to us to hear about what we do both through Ciudad Hermana and Amigos en Acción to positively impact the El Sauce community. We also received a generous donation of an iPad from one of our donors, which has opened so many doors for our students. With it, we are able to access the internet to allow students to search for information for homework and projects. Plus, we are so excited for the chance to connect our students with students in the Rochester area through Skype calls.
This year, we have our hands full with 30 students actively participating! As it is still early in the Nicaraguan school year, we are working to get to know each of our students and help them to develop friendships with each other (we have students from two different elementary schools, so the program allows them to meet other children they wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to meet). We are helping our students to develop good study skills, to be independent, to take initiative to solve problems, to work with their classmates, and so much more! We took some time at the beginning of the school year to play many get-to-know-you games and team-building activities to break down barriers and help them to develop confidence, and will continue to do so as the year goes on to ensure we maintain a positive environment.
We also would like to invite you to participate in our fundraising campaign, $92 from 92. If you haven’t heard about it yet, check out our previous blog post to see more details:
Remember, ANY donation helps us to make sure we can continue providing this program to our students, which includes homework help and educational reinforcement, a healthy snack, English classes, and other activities to help students develop skills they will need to be successful in school and beyond. Students attend our program from Monday through Friday from 8:00-11:00am, then go to school in the afternoons, and they LOVE participating! A new student recently told his family that he loves coming to the program and doesn’t want to miss, because we have so many cool things for them to use!
If you would like to make a donation, you can do so online or by check. Remember, all donations are tax-deductible! When you make a donation, be sure to designate Amigos en Accion as the recipient. You can follow this link for more specific information about how to donate:
Thank you in advance to anyone who is able to support our mission in making sure these children have a chance to participate in this program!