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Project Reports

Educational projects in Nicaragua assisted by the Santa Rosa Fund

El Viejo Recreation Centre Management

Friday, 1 May, 2009

Only recently has the Santa Rosa Fund money been used by the Sisters to support the El Viejo Recreation Centre, so it was appropriate that we should make a visit there in November last year to meet William Vargas Díaz (pictured), director of the Centre. The Recreation Centre, right in the middle of the town of El Viejo, is heavily used by the local youth. Its major uses for the youths consist of its sports facilities and organisations, but under the auspices of the Sisters it also runs workshops and programmes in leadership training, sexual health, relationships, responsibilities and a range of other themes. William oversees and coordinates the courses and programmes, as well as the sports, and also arranges visits between the members and users of the El Viejo Recreation Centre and users of other youth centres in the Cosigüina Peninsula such as the Cosigüina Youth Centre which is also part-funded by the Santa Rosa Fund.

José Coronel Urtecho School

Sunday, 26 April, 2009

In the José Coronel Urtecho School in the rural comarca [parish] of Venezuela, 125 pupils (some shown in the photograph) have benefited with the following educational materials: backpacks, exercise books, pens, pencils and rubbers. The pre-school pupils in the same school were also supported in similar fashion.

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Coordinator of the Cosigüina Youth Centre, 2008

Friday, 24 April, 2009

The work of the coordinator of the Cosigüina Youth Centre has been maintained thanks to the support of the Santa Rosa Fund. From January to May Carla Betanco held this post, but due to her pregnancy she had to leave the responsibility of this post. After discussions amongst the group of youths, Diana Sánchez assumed responsibility as coordinator from the beginning of June. Since she began work as the Youth Centre coordinator, things have been very active and Diana has organised several activities with the youths. Thus far she is managing the centre well, looking to hire it out to other institutions for workshops, offering a photocopying service, and hiring out rooms to tourists who visit the volcano.

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3 Videos of La Chureca

Friday, 24 April, 2009

Visitors to the website who wish to gain an idea of how life survives on Managua’s main dump may wish to follow the three links to videos given below. One of them is 9 minutes long, but the other two are just 3 or 4 minutes long. The group which made the videos is not in any way associated with the Santa Rosa Fund, but their videos show the Los Quinchos project which is supported by the Fund (through Wales NSC) and several of the kids who benefit from that project.

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Visit to the Los Quinchos Project in La Chureca

Thursday, 11 December, 2008

On this second visit I was accompanied by Martin Mowforth, the Membership Secretary of the Santa Rosa Fund which is based in Tavistock, Devon. The Santa Rosa Fund has been supporting a school in the Santa Rosa neighbourhood (hence the name) in Managua for the last twenty years and more recently other educational projects in the El Viejo municipality in the department of Chinandega, west Nicaragua. The Santa Rosa Fund made a donation to Los Quinchos’ Chureca project through Wales NSC and given that Martin was visiting Nicaragua he was keen to see the project.

Pre School Community of Villa España

Friday, 14 November, 2008

The following is a translation of a report we received from Sister Lilliam Miranda in September 2008.

The community pre-school in Villa España now continues with teacher Verónica Treminio Alvarado. During this school year (2008) various difficulties have been experienced owing to the socio-economic reality of the country and the hike in the price of food. People are able to cover less and less of their basic necessities. For these reasons attendance at the pre-school has fallen off a little. At times mothers do not send their children to school because they don’t have clothes or because there is no food.

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Villa España after the Hurricane

Friday, 19 September, 2008

In 1998 Hurricane Mitch hit Nicaragua with devastating effect. Around the town of El Viejo 4,000 people were made homeless. About 1,000 of these were re-housed in a new settlement, now called Villa España, which was built by the Spanish Red Cross. Families moved into their new houses in 2003, over four years after Hurricane Mitch, having spent the intervening years in a temporary tented settlement.

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La Chureca: “The nearest thing to hell”

Friday, 19 September, 2008

The Santa Rosa Fund has recently begun to support an educational project on Managua’s waste dump – La Chureca. The Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign (Wales NSC) has launched an appeal to support the Los Quinchos Centre which is based inside the dump. The following brief extracts from Wales NSC Newsletter explain some of the background and needs of the project.

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First visit to the Los Quinchos Project in La Chureca

Wednesday, 2 April, 2008

The visit took place a few days after the protest by some of the families in La Chureca had come to an end. Organised by the Movimiento Comunal (which grew out of the Sandinista neighbourhood defence committees of the ‘80’s) they were refusing to let the council rubbish trucks into the dump in protest against the bin men going through the refuse and taking out the valuable stuff (tins, plastic bottles, metal and even paper) before the trucks get to La Chureca, thereby depriving them of the materials they sell for recycling. They said that the Mayor, Dionisio (Nicho) Marenco, should increase the bin men’s wages so that they didn’t have to augment them by ‘prepping’ the refuse. Nicho replied that even if he did increase their wages it was impossible to ensure the bin men didn’t extract recyclable materials. El Nuevo Diario said the protest was politically engineered by the government in order to discredit Nicho, formerly one of Daniel Ortega’s right hand men, who had been very public in some critical comments he made of the new government’s style. The newspaper said the government was holding the population of Managua to ransom over an intra-party feud which caused rubbish to pile up in the streets.

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Los Pozitos Updates 2004 2005

Tuesday, 25 September, 2007

Contact with Los Pozitos was maintained throughout the following two years, and the Fund was able to deliver donations of musical instruments, books, toys and small amounts of money from High Street School in Plymouth to the people of Los Pozitos. Although the £290 worth of dollars that the Fund delivered to the committee of parents in Los Pozitos is pitifully small in aid terms, for the little school with only one teacher, such a sum is enormous and the community is able to make more use of it than we could ever imagine. The Nicaraguan Ministry of Education used to pay the salary of Melvin, the one qualified teacher, but the school received nothing else from the state for materials or expenses.

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Activities planned in Cosigüina Youth Centre for 2007

Tuesday, 1 May, 2007

This year [2007] the Centre will continue to give training in life skills for young people with the aim of helping them to be authors of their own process of education, formation, growth, self-esteem, personal and social values and commitment to their integration into society. Additionally, there will be recreational and sporting activities, presentations and stories for children.

Coordination meetings with various institutions will be held with the aim of gaining support in the themes of first aid, the environment, drug use, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency and loss of purpose.

Personal mentoring will be arranged through personal interviews.

Every fortnight (the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 6pm to 7:30pm) the forward planning group of the youth club will meet to plan activities.

A survey conducted in the village of Cosigüina to evaluate the activities of the Youth Centre

Wednesday, 1 November, 2006

(An analysis of the surveys conducted with families in the community of Cosigüina, September 2006.)

This survey was conducted with the aim of evaluating the use and management of the Cosigüina Youth Centre.

From the 100 questionnaires completed, 95 persons had used the Youth Centre and 5 had not – that is to say that they had never visited it.

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Survey of the Cosigüina Youth Group, June 2006

Thursday, 1 June, 2006

This survey focused on 20 youths of which 16 are active participants in the youth group and the other four are occasional attenders. This small survey was conducted with the aim of identifying weaknesses and strengths of the group.

The youths were asked what activities they took part in and all responded that they were involved in the meetings and discussions which the group holds on Wednesdays, four of them are involved in organising events for younger children and the rest give support in extra activities such as fiestas [cocaladas], sporting activities, films, meetings and the cleaning of the Youth Centre.

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Villa España Pre-School and Primary School

Sunday, 25 September, 2005

In 1998 Hurricane Mitch hit Nicaragua with devastating effect. Around the town of El Viejo 4,000 people were made homeless. About 1,000 of these were re-housed in a new settlement, now called Villa España, which was built by the Spanish Red Cross. Families moved into their new houses in 2003, over four years after Hurricane Mitch, having spent the intervening years in a temporary tented settlement.

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A Twinning Link for Los Pozitos

Friday, 25 July, 2003

Santa Rosa Fund helps establish another twinning link

By Jacky Rushall (From Issue 21 of the SRF Newsletter, July 2003)

I applied for a sabbatical in December 2002 and was lucky enough to be awarded this opportunity. The sabbatical scheme was offered to schools in challenging areas, with a high level of deprivation, such as High Street School in Stonehouse, Plymouth, where I teach. The time taken could be up to six weeks and how the money was spent was very flexible. The main criteria were that it should have some benefit to the teacher, pupils and school.

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