Osa Community Support Fund

 
$4,560
$55,440
Raised
Remaining

Every rainy season children from the town of El Progreso head to Agujitas to attend high school.   This 45 minute walk or 10 minute car drive is quite pleasant, if it is not raining. The issue with the rain, has very little to do with getting wet and a lot to do with putting their lives in danger crossing the Drake River that stands between their home town and their high school. I have witnessed school children cross the river with the water up to their chest, because once the water gets too high, cars refuse to give it a try. So the young students and the locals are left on their own. I am surprised that nobody has lost their life crossing this river.

With little access to infrastructure and education children in this area have to take chances or they have the greatest excuse in the world to drop out of school. We know what dropping out of school means for most people: The perpetuation of the poverty cycle in the communities and their families, and an unsustainable and unjust world.

The foundation mission states: We strive to increase the protection of wild areas, promote environmental education, sustainable tourism and community participation through the sustainable use of natural resources in the South Pacific area of Costa Rica. However in order toimprove participation in nature conservation, we need to improve the communities quality of life, and open their alternatives for education and economic stability.

The Osa Community Fund was created by our organization to put money aside for community projects. These monies will be given to grass roots groups after they have committed to match the value of the donation by providing man hours, materials or similar to the project.

Raising funding for the Osa Community Fund or as we call it FACOSA, hasn’t been easy. Last December we engaged in an’’ End of the Year Challenge’’ with Globalgiving in order to raise funding and awareness about the Osa Community Fund.   We raised $ 1,750 USD. Our goal was to raise $3000 USD for the fund. Although we fell short of our goal, we are happy and grateful and thank the friends and philanthropists who pitched in to help us raise this money.

The much needed monies will be added to funds previously raised to finance more community projects.  One of the projects already presented by the Development Association of El Progreso, is to build a much needed walking bridge for the Drake River. We have published an invitation to help with this project in facebook and posters have been placed in stores, schools and other public spaces.

We want to thank you for your donations. Your donations maintain this fund and allow us to be more active and focused on the needs of communities. The foundation is always short on cash, but we offer our technical support, fundraising efforts and follow up on the detail to ensure that every dollar that you donate has a huge impact. Not one cents is charged for our costs. We donate all of our time and expenses.  We are all partners in making the world a little bit better, bit by bit!

Thank you

Dear friends:

I hope that this December finds you all in great spirits!  

Christmas is the time for giving. It is also a great time to make donations which are deductible from your US income tax.

We need your help. We need to raise $3000 USD by December 31, 2014 from at least 30 different donors. The money raised will support the Osa Community Support Fund (FACOSA).   FACOSA has invested $23,123 USD directly in 9 community projects, including the construction of a rural water supply, lighting of a soccer field and the purchase of computers for a very poor school. The purpose of this fund is to provide the communities with seed funding to start their own projects.

FACOSA funds come from a challenge that the Interamerican Foundation proposed to our organization: Every dollar that the Corcovado Foundation can raise is match 100% by the Interamerican Foundation. 100% of proceeds goes directly to the projects: the administrative and monitoring costs of projects are borne by the foundation.

In order to fund new projects in 2015, the Corcovado Foundation has taken on a new challenge with GlobalGiving. We need to raise $ 3,000 from at least 30 donors to qualify for one of nine bonus awards on December 31st. Every donation made to GlobalGiving will be matched by the Interamerican Foundation. In other words, if you donate $10, the community receives $20 for community development projects, education and socioeconomic development. Additionally, the community that receives the funding will match the amount by a 100% in-kind donation.

That means your $10 donation can have the impact of a $40 gift.

Please make a donation: Simply enter this page https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/osa-community-support-fund/

Donations made through GlobalGiving are deductible from income tax in the US

For more information about the project and all the community efforts that are supported by our organization, please e-mail Zoraida Tenorio at zoraida@corcovadofoundation.org or call 2297-3013.

Other ways to help: You can also help forward this to your friends or join the Facebook page of the Corcovado Foundation and share our invitation on your wall.

Thank you all for your help.

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Seamtress in Rancho Quemado
Seamtress in Rancho Quemado

Investing in women is key to community development.  Why? Because it is proven that 95% of a woman’s income is immediately invested in their family’s well-being.  Unlike men, everything that a woman earns goes directly for food, school supplies and to care for the family needs.

Yolanda is a seamstress in Rancho Quemado. She lives with her husband, her mother and two children age 8 and 3. She loved sewing since she was 8 years old. She could not wait to use her talent to make a living.   Yolanda taught herself this craft from magazines and by looking at people’s clothes. Initially she received help from a few government institutions to buy the necessary equipment. With the funding she received from the Corcovado Foundation, this gifted woman has been able to bloom and is now selling her products to nearby hotels and neighbors.   The money she earns she uses to help her family’s economy, or she reinvests it in her business.

Many studies have recognized the importance of improving the status of impoverished women. “The Women’s Economic Empowerment: Meeting the Needs of Impoverished Women Report”, written in 2007 by the UNFPA describes a number of approaches used to date to empower women economically, including microcredit.

That is why the Osa Community Support Fund has tried to strengthen women’s micro entrepreneurships, in order to empower women in the Osa Peninsula.  Another example of this effort is the Morfas Restaurant.  The Morfas Unidas de Osa project was formed by 9 women, to generate income for their households by providing food services to the community of El Progreso in Drake Bay. Many of these women are heads of their household and the income has been used to ensure the support and education of their children.

This project is also helping the local community by providing jobs for a night guard and a gardener that comes every two weeks to mown the lawn.  This is significant, because this undeveloped community lacks jobs and other sources of income.

Yixian, leader of this project explained: “thanks to the donation received from the Corcovado Foundation, we purchased kitchen equipment for the project and have managed to get ahead”.

Personally, she says: “this project has given me many opportunities. Thanks to the project, I was able to pay for my college education, fulfill my goals and provide a better future for my daughter”.

Morfas de Osa Restaurant in El Progreso
Morfas de Osa Restaurant in El Progreso
Morfas de Osa, some of the ladies
Morfas de Osa, some of the ladies
Soccer Field Inauguration
Soccer Field Inauguration

On June 24, thanks to your generous donation the little town of Rancho Quemado, became the first town its size to light up its sport field, in the Osa Peninsula.   The local people had expected this moment with anxiety and excitement. Other local communities doubted that it was going to happen! But it did! At 5:45 p.m. when the sun finally sets behind the mountains, the whole town awaited the great occurrence: The Costarrican Institute of Electricity (ICE) finally turned on the switch and voilá “there was light”. The whole soccer field (or “futbol” as it is called in my home country) lit up and the crowd cheered with joy. The children ran through the field, as it was the first time that they had seen the field. In a way it was, isnt it funny how lighting makes everything look different?  It was a dream come true. But like every good thing in life, in order to make it happen, the people in Rancho Quemado, first dreamed about it and then worked hard to get it done.

When this community first approached the Corcovado Foundation’s FACOSA fund their enthusiasm was contagious and we believed in their dream also. As you know, the goal of the Osa Community Support Fund (FACOSA) is to provide small funding to local communities in order to help them improve their quality of life and answer some of their most basic needs such as clean water access and providing a minimum income for local families.

The Sport Association of Rancho Quemado received $3000 USD from FACOSA and then raised $9,000 USD more from different sources. They dreamed of lighting up their football field in order to have a healthy entertainment for young people and a way of fundraising by selling food during sporting events. It was an ingenious way to provide more income for local families, promote sports and also discouraging young people from getting into trouble (men in these communities often engage in illegal hunting after work as a pastime).

In the words of some of the local leaders in Rancho Quemado:

Oscar Urena, Chairman ofthe Sports Committee said: “This is asmall town, butvery organized.People arevery motivated, and there are sevenor eight associations in town. Along with the ICE, the municipality, the Corcovado Foundation, the local Development Association, we have managedto installthe light for this field.  It is the only illuminatedcourt in the Osa Peninsula.

The football teams  couldn’t come  during the day since they were working, but they can come in the evening to play football. It has created more opportunity to participate in sports.It is especially good for young people because they see that elders are helping them by providing these facilities,and thus improves the relationship between youth and adults.It offers something nice and positive to do in the evenings, instead of nothing to do.Youth groups are more proud of their town and more aware of the environment, andare contributing to the issue of conservation, by recycling and have placed garbage collection sites throughout the community.  

Many people come here and are astonished,they cannot believe what we have achieved. We told them that this is because the community is very united and work together to improve the lives of all.

Mr Fredd yRodriguez, Member of the Sports Committee of Rancho Quemado stated that “We were able to take advantage of illumination at night to organize more soccer events, in order to raise more money for the association and the community.We are not finished, we would like to add a mesh around the goal, with the money we hope to raise. Since it is new, we have not yet calculated how much we will need for utilities,but it looks that we can generate enough income from the night activities.

We give a heartfelt thanks to theCorcovado Foundation and other organizations for helping make this dream come true.

Maria Eugenia Siles, Member of the Association of Women, said “we like to cooperate with the football activities, our association prepares the food that is sold at the events.The events benefit everyone and the community gets more involved in sports.There are more activities for young people and the town is more united.It is very positive and it looks very nice”.

This town is more united by its success and enjoys more of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, they are generating more income to improve other services and they feel confident in their accomplishments. All of this, thanks to your generous donation.  Keep donations coming, no matter how small, this will make other communities dreams come true.

Hand made tortillas in Rancho Quemado
Hand made tortillas in Rancho Quemado
A happy sloth in Rancho Quemado
A happy sloth in Rancho Quemado
Jessica
Jessica's son

Did you know that your donation became 10 times its worth? It is like a philanthropic stock market, that brings good things to the communities. I know this sounds like crazy math! I am sure that you never received a math class in which the teacher said 1=10. But once I show you how your dollar was multiplied by 10, you will understand.

As you know, the goal of the Osa Community Support Fund (FACOSA) is to provide small funding to local communities in order to help them improve their quality of living and answer some of their most basic needs such as clean water access and providing a minimum income for local families.  

Every dollar that the Corcovado Foundation raises for FACOSA (Osa Community Fund), the Interamerican Foundation matches 1 to 1. The communities that receive the funding also need to make a matching contribution in kind.

In June 2013, for the second time the Corcovado Foundation, through FACOSA disbursed around $12,000 USD to 5 different projects in 2 different communities.   Here is a good example of our “awesome math”: The Developing Association of Rancho Quemado (ADI), one of the beneficiaries of The Osa Community Fund, received $3,000 in order to light up the sports field in their home town. In a community where the only recreational activities are hunting or drinking alcohol, exercise is not only good for their bodies, but for their families and surrounding ecosystems.  

The project cost around $20,000 USD ($10,000 USD in materials and $10,000 USD in labor).   You and people like you donated $1500 and the Interamerican Foundation (IAF) matched your donation. With $3,000 USD in hand, they went to the Municipality of Osa, which donated $6,000 dollars more. The community now only needed $1,000 USD to complete the $10,000 usd needed for materials, so they had a festival and raised the rest of the money. The community from Rancho Quemado took your donation, now worth five times its initial value and presented it to the Costarrican Institute of Electricity who committed to do all the labor, since the community had raised the rest of the money for materials.   Your $1 donation became $10 USD. Your dollar empowered them to knock on doors and raise money. Your dollar was the spark that started the great fire of development.

According to Jessica Roldan, one of the members of the ADI “The donation received from the Osa Community Fund, also helped us to leave a legacy of hope to our children and community, who are growing up with the vision of creating opportunities in hand with the conservation of the environment that surrounds them"

The electrification of the field will take place in May and the community is planning a big celebration!  It is amazing how a little bit of support will push communities forward.   Pushing forward and having small successes empowers new leaders, strengthens communities and make people believe in themselves and their neighbors.  Thank you for your donation!  

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Organization

Project Leader

Alejandra Monge

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Where is this project located?

Map of Osa Community Support Fund