Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June Newsletter

These last couple months have been busy, as usual. We have been working to get sponsors for all of the children registered with us. We have had a wonderful response and we are very thankful, but we still have over 500 children in need of sponsors. Please take the time to sponsor a child today. $100 will supply your child with school supplies, medical care, and support their school for a year.
Sponsor a child now-
We are gearing up to give a mid year packet of school supplies to all of our registered children. The school year in Nicaragua is from January to December and July is the mid year point. We have been assembling packets of school supplies so that each registered child will receive pencils, pens, crayons or colored pencils, notebooks, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and for the older children a packet of supplies for studying geometry.

We have been meeting with a group of tailors and seamstresses who are going to make school bags and uniforms for all of our registered kids. We are getting started now, budgeting, buying fabric, etc. so that we are ready when the new school year begins in January. We are working with people in the community so that the money we spend to help the children stays within the community.
Diria celebrated "Children's Day" with big parties in the schools. The teachers put on performances for the kids, there were pinatas and a lot of food to eat.

It has been a full month and we have really enjoyed it.

Surprise Party
June 19th was Tracy Finch’s (co-founder of Proyecto Laguna) birthday. In celebration Ruiz Castillo school threw her a surprise birthday party. As Tracy entered the school for a fictional meeting she found all of the morning children (about 300) lined up in the plaza singing her happy birthday. They had two piƱatas, which the children enjoyed immensely, and served a delicious lunch to us and all the teachers. Each child presented Tracy with a birthday card and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Each birthday card had a special note to Tracy thanking her for providing shoes and school supplies to them and their school, thanking her for her big heart, and wishing her many more birthdays in the future.
It was a touching gesture by the school which made us realize that though we feel we are just getting started, what we have already done is very much appreciated by the community.

Child Sponorship-Berta's Story
Please take the time today to help a child in Diria succeed in school and in life.
This month we would like to feature Berta. Berta is 11 years old and has two brothers and one sister. She is a very smart girl and gets good grades, but may not pass the 6th grade because she has so many absences. Berta’s mother, Margarita, is a single mother who takes in washing and struggles to make enough money to feed her family. So, to help support her family, Berta works a few days a week in Granada selling ceramic whistles to tourists. Though school is important, and Berta realizes this, she has to make the choice between getting an education for her future and eating today. It is no mystery why she chooses to miss school in order to work and make money.
Berta reports that her mother hopes someday to buy them a mattress so that they won’t have to keep sleeping on the floor with just rice sacks for cushion and warmth. A thin foam mattress costs $11. For Margarita, who makes about $40 a month, that is a fortune.
Sponsoring Berta would take the stress off her family for buying her school supplies and paying for her medical care.
We hope that as our funds grow we will have enough to hire women such as Margarita to work cooking school lunch or cleaning the school and pay them a fair wage so that their children are free to attend school.
There are over 500 children with stories similar to Berta’s who need to be sponsored.
Please take the time today to sponsor a child in Diria. Help us empower the community through education.
Sponsor a child now-

Movie Night
On June 15th we had our first movie night at the Ruiz Castillo School. We have been working to help the parents learn how to raise money so that they can take an active and empowered roll in helping their children’s school. So, we decided to have a movie night. Proyecto Laguna provided the movie and the projector, the school provided the place, and the parents brought snacks and drinks to sell and helped to set everything up.
Movie night was a great success. One Hundred and seventy people came and watched Madagascar (in Spanish of course) on the big screen. The kids loved it. They were laughing and clapping and cheering. None of the kids had ever been to a movie theater so this was their first time seeing a movie on a big screen. We don’t have a final figure but the parents raised about $100 and are excited to do it again sometime soon.
The parents group, on their own, have opened a bank account and are in charge of all the money they raise. They have chosen a president, treasurer, secretary, etc. Through raffles and the movie night they have raised over $200 in 3 months. For a place were most people make under $100 a month that is a lot of money. They are very happy about their success and hope to continue making money so they can help pay to build latrines in their school.

Thank you
We would like to thank Nicholls State University, school of nursing, for donating $500 dollars to pay for two girls, Dayanira and Elizabeth, to receive medical care for seizure disorders. With this money Dayanira and Elizabeth will be able to get long overdue brain scans and we will be able to pay for a few months of the mediations they need to manage their disorders. Thank you Nicholls State University!
We would also like to thank everyone who sponsored a child and those who donated money this month. We have received more donations this month than any previous month! Thank you for supporting the work we are doing and helping the children in Diria succeed in school and in life.
How you can help
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