Verbo Nicaragua Development Fund

VNDF seeks to help impoverished Nicaraguans break out of the cycle of intergenerational poverty into which they were born by providing access to education, employment, health care, and affordable credit. VNDF is an international advocate for Verbo Nicaragua ministries which is based in Managua, Nicaragua, has been in existence since 1976 and operates nationwide. Nicaragua is the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Mar 6, 2012

A Special New Student

Our newest friend and student Daniel!
Our newest friend and student Daniel!

According to global estimates more than 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries are deprived of any education. In Nicaragua only 38% of all disabled children attend primary school, 10% attend secondary school and only 2% go to university or technical high school. Disabled children in Nicaragua don't attend school for several reasons including poverty, a lack of access, poor teacher training, and negative attitudes within the education system and in the community.

However Colegio Verbo in Veracruz is changing that for one middle school student named Daniel. Daniel is one of this year's new students at Colegio Verbo. Daniel is wheelchair-bound as a result of an infection he sustained five years ago; he has not attended school since. His father asked if he could enroll Daniel at Verbo and the staff Directora Nolvia Morales enthusiastically agreed. Previously he was right-handed but lost use of his right arm and now Verbo teachers are helping him learning how to write with his left hand.

It's not just teachers that are enjoying. According to Directors Morales, "the students all love him very much and he is their favorite student. All of them have learned a lot having him in our school." Last week the 7th graders surprised Daniel with his first birthday celebration. The students brought a pinata to school and enjoyed having his family celebrate with them. Daniel's father is thrilled with the school and says that being there has improved Daniel's self-esteem.

According to Nolvia, "Daniel is a great example for all of us that God can heal!" 100% of your donations to VNDF through Global Giving go to help Colegio Verbo help special students like Daniel - thank you!

Daniel with his 7th grade classmates
Daniel with his 7th grade classmates
Daniels
Daniels' father joining the party
Dec 8, 2011

Graduation Day!

Fatima from Casa Bernabe celebrates graduation!
Fatima from Casa Bernabe celebrates graduation!

Well it's official - Verbo Ministries is helping Nicaraguan schoolkids become extraordinarily better than average!  The average Nicaraguan only completes four years of formal schooling and only 10% of all Nicaraguan students who do make it to high school ever complete their schooling and graduate. On December 2 Colegio Verbo celebrated the end-of-year graduation  - 23 high school students graduated from 11th grade (the last grade in Nicaraguan high school) and 15 middle school students graduated to go on to high school next year.

Isamar, Klenis, Jonathan, Jakson, Lenin, and Fatima were six of the middle school and high school students who graduated or were promoted at Colegio Verbo last week.  What's special about these six?  They have all spent most of their childhood growing up at Verbo's Casa Bernabe orphanage adjacent to the school. Because of Verbo Ministries they have a safe home with loving caretakers and an opportunity to go to school - an opportunity which too many Nicaraguan children don't have.  We are grateful to all the Colegio Verbo staff for their hard work and to YOU for your support.  You are truly making hope real this Christmas season!

Isamar is a graduating senior from Casa Bernabe
Isamar is a graduating senior from Casa Bernabe
Colegio Verbo seniors sing for joy!
Colegio Verbo seniors sing for joy!
Sep 15, 2011

Clean a Classroom, Help Another Country!

The donations swamped our family room!
The donations swamped our family room!

At the end of the U.S. school year we thought - what if we asked a few teachers to donate items from their classroom that they would otherwise throw away?  Wow!  We had no idea the response that we'd get!  We ended up getting more than 2,000 pounds in donations from four schools in Virginia Beach - Plaza Middle School, Linkhorn Elementary School, Trantwood Elementary School and John B. Dey Elementary School - and two Fairfax County Public schools!!  Teachers got their entire schools involved and we ended up with an overwhelming amount of almost entirely new and some gently used items....all of them were things teachers in Nicaragua NEVER get or even have access to.

We believe strongly that the teachers and administration should lead the work on the ground and we work to support them. So Principal Nolvia Morales displayed all of the materials in the school office and invited each class to come see the new items.  This was intentional - for the kids to understand the generosity of American donors, and to be encouraged in their academic pursuits.  She also talked with all of the parents to tell them the advantage their kids are getting by attending Colegio Verbo through partnerships the school has with American donors and schools. 

Afterward we worked with Nolvia and her team to assemble enough materials to give EVERY teacher a complete set of new math manipulatives and create a small classroom library for all the elementary-age class teachers. Nolvia also provided each teacher with a complete set of much-needed teacher supplies (i.e. staplers, paper clips, folders, paper, pens, rulers, hand sanitizers, etc.) and then created a "Treasure Box" that all students can choose from when their teacher recommends them for good grades, exemplary behavior, etc. 

On top of all that we had so many beginning level English-language books that we were able to give three other Nicaraguan schools on the other side of Managua with enough materials to start their own English language elementary school programs. That is a HUGE step forward for any Nicaraguan school.

Thank you for investing in Colegio Verbo in Veracruz.  In nearly 9 years I have never seen such a positive, hopeful environment.  The kids are inspired and the teachers feel deeply encouraged.  Your gifts are making real change possible.  Remember -- because we raise separate funds for our own salaries and operating expenses, 100% of your donation goes to the school.  Every dime and dollar is sent and well-invested! 

Thanks again for your continual support! 

Students were invited to see the donated items.
Students were invited to see the donated items.
Colegio Verbo Principal Nolvia Morales - so happy!
Colegio Verbo Principal Nolvia Morales - so happy!
The teachers made a "Muchas Gracias" sign!
The teachers made a "Muchas Gracias" sign!
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