Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, Inc.

W/NP is a progressive and viable humanitarian service organization actively implementing programs in both Wisconsin and Nicaragua. W/NP's goals are to promote mutual understanding and establish lasting relationships among citizens and institutions of Wisconsin and Nicaragua; foster volunteerism and self-help attitudes through the implementation of economic and social development projects; leverage development assistance funds from the U.S. Government and other public and private sources.
Dec 27, 2016

3356 Learning Center Students in 2016!

Hossana Learning Center members performing dancing
Hossana Learning Center members performing dancing

Wow, what a year in review for the Learning Centers in Nicaragua. November 26th 2016 the annual Learning Center (LC) meeting took place at Sagrado Corazon de Jesus LC, San Benito, Nicaragua. The LC host location was 30km away from Managua City, (one way). W/NP Managua staff hired a bus to carry all LC leaders coming from different cities, this way safety and commodities were guaranteed. The annual meeting was attended by 72 people, leaders of LC’s.

  • Welcome speech.
  • Prayer.
  • Cultural performance.
  • Awards by fulfilment, cooperation and attendance.
  • Gifts exchanges.
  • Evaluation.
  • Lunch.

Learning Center’s in attendance: San Antonio de Comunidad San Antonio / Guadalupano del Barrio San Cristobal Managua / Florence y William Nellis de la comunidad de Samaria / Regalo de Dios de Chinandega / Sagrado Corazón de Jesús en San Benito / Gloria Chavarría en colonia Primero de Mayo / Chilamatillo en comunidad Chilamatillo, Tipitapa / Carolina, Managua / San Vicente de Paul / Manos Solidarias- Mina Rosita / June Lenke, Managua / Gracias a Dios – Cedro Galan / San Gabriel Carretera vieja a Leon / Hossana Masaya / Madison Los Cedros ,Managua / Dulce Progreso Tipitapa / Divino Niño de Pantasma.

The meeting was very dynamic and informative. Nicaraguan performances including dancing, flute and singing were part of the meeting, which was enjoyed in full by every attendee.  Estela showed what her students have learned throughout the year:  embroidery, painting and making-dolls, which were taken to a local fair.Awards were given to the most remarkable LC leaders in recognition for their constant hard work to achieve fulfillment, cooperation and attendance to monthly meetings along the year.

Emphasis was made on the new home gardens project that will be piloted at the Gracias a Dios from Cedro Galan and Buenos Aires Learning Centers. Attendees were enthusiastic and hope to join in the garden project as funds are available.  

The following are comments/evaluation from the participants:

  • Vilma stated that 2016 was a fruitful year, she feels satisfied since her knowledge is shared among her students, also Vilma encouraged to multiply the shared knowledge and support the W/NP organization.
  • Josefa thanked God for finding W/NP that has helped so much. Humanity and love can be breathed inside W/NP, besides she feels identified with Estela, leader of Sagrado Corazon LC since she has young and old ladies students as well.
  • Marina thanked W/NP for being the best organization she has worked with. Crafts is a way she found to get a t-shirts and a mixer, which is the best she got for her young and adult students.
  • Marcia stated that there’s no a better organization to be involved and there’s no age to be part of it.
  • Rosa thanked God for sharing two consecutive year in W/NP that has sponsored sewing materials. Our learning center is working with La casa de la Mujer and we are hoping to train more young people from Rosita Mine located in the Caribbean Nicaragua shores.
  • Eraida made several activities with donations sent by W/NP for children of her LC.

The following improvements were identified as taking place in 2016 for the Learing Center Program: 

  • Higher monthly meeting attendance.
  • Better written reports.
  • More sharing of photos of their activities.
  • Maintenance of their LC’s organization.
  • Sewing machines inventories donated by W/NP.
  • Certificates for graduations.
  • INATEC following up for students.

Additional Comments by attendees:

  • We learned new things and the experience was very good.
  • Thanks to all volunteers especially. We have learned a lot and all knowledge gained will be shared with our students in our communities.
  • Thanks W/NP for the lessons and support given to us since it is very useful. God bless you.
  • I’d like to congratulate W/NP for the hard work they do and the way they manage the help we receive; I hope they can continue providing us support the next year.
  • This is the first time I attend this meeting and I found it very interesting. I am planning to return to the organization to learn more.
  • For me it has been a great blessing to participate, these courses are very important to me. Thank you for allowing me to participate.
  • I would like to have this activity in a bigger place to facilitate the final product, also it is important to have enough material.

LC leaders are eager to meet their partners in their own communities to know their work on the making and learn their way to run their LC’s. The annual meeting was concluded with a lunch that was enjoyed by all LC leaders.

Thank you to all the people who have helped to make the Learning Center Program possible, we look forward to your continued support and another great year in 2017!

Special entertainment led by music teacher Wiston
Special entertainment led by music teacher Wiston
Recognition Awards to remarkable LC leaders
Recognition Awards to remarkable LC leaders
Proud students sharing their work
Proud students sharing their work
Proud students sharing their work
Proud students sharing their work
Proud students sharing their work
Proud students sharing their work

Links:

Oct 24, 2016

COMMUNITY VISIT FOR THE VILLA JAPON STOVE PROJECT

New stove at Villa Japon
New stove at Villa Japon

On October 18th, representatives from the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners (W/NP) Managua Office joined the celebration of the completion of stoves built in the community of Villa Japon, Nicaragua. The event was in memory of Margarita who died the day after she received her stove.

According to project coordinator Lilliam, "Margarita was so enthusiastic, optimist and collaborative with the stove project, she believed it was a great improvement, not just for the beneficiary families, but for all in the community."

Leonor stated and remarked that W/NP has been present in Nicaragua about 50 fifty years, not only in the Villa Japon Community, but also in many communities in Nicaragua and will continue supporting them.  Also, Leonor encouraged people to help and support their neighbors by collaborating with a brick, a cement bag or any other material that is used in the construction of the stoves, in order to help community itself by spreading the knowledge on stoves.

W/NP staff members collected testimonies from beneficiaries on how the stove project has improved their quality of life since there is not so much smoke and firewood is not so necessary in the same quantities that used to be required to cook.

 Angelica and Paula were thankful.

"I feel so happy with my new stove since I don’t use anymore a lot of firewood like I used to do. The stove I received has not been useful just for me, but my son who works with pork. Now, my everyday activities have changed a lot for me since I make one hundred tortillas a day for my living. I feel so thankful to W/NP Members for their support and companion along all these months. Once again, thanks so much W/NP."  Angélica  

"My health and my family’s health for sure will improve because this stove guarantees almost no smoke pollution and the minimum smoke goes up through the chimney. In addition, my economy has improved as well, since my spending for firewood has ended. Now, my living will be easier for me since I make “Cosa de Horno” for sale. I want to thank you W/NP and to all its members for all their support."  Paula  

The W/NP Learning Center Project continues to unite community members all around the world in working together to improve quality of life for all who are invovled.  Thank you for your support in being a part of this important program. 

Project site visit
Project site visit
prior stove and cooking area
prior stove and cooking area
another prior stove replaced
another prior stove replaced
mixing materials for new stove
mixing materials for new stove
Stove and cooking improvements
Stove and cooking improvements
Sep 7, 2016

Sharing knowledge and improving lives through a bag making class

Finished product and proud of it!
Finished product and proud of it!

Last month, a new donor redeemed a gift card on Global Giving to help the Learning Center projects. This donation could not have come at a better time. The women in Nicaragua are eager to increase their skill sets, and having the appropriate materials is a huge variable in trying to keep up with the growing class sizes and growing levels of interest. The photos we are sharing in this report illustrate the beautiful bags being made by the women and how they feel about this new knowledge they are aquiring.  W/NP Volunteer teacher Petronila started with eight students, the number went up to ten, then 16 and now 20 are in the bag making class.  She comments, “As a teacher of the bag making class, I think the class is important for the knowledge one gets and to be able to help other women who can market and sell this product in their communities and also on the internet.  For me it’s important because I continue to gather experience and also doing volunteer work.”

In-kind donations of sewing machines, scissors, fabric and other notions are sent in shipments to Nicaragua that help support the classes. Mirna commented, “Notice the different colors of leather pieces on the bottom of the bags. Those pieces came in the last shipment and are being very useful. In order to combine the leather with other material, we need the kind of material (multicolor) you see on some bags.  Petronila found a store at the market and we were wondering if it was possible to buy some of that (material) with the donation you mentioned we had available for the Learning Center Project?”   Absolutely, that is exactly what the donations are for, to help support the Learning Center Projects. 

We wanted to hear from the women (students), why they are taking the bag making class? Carmen replied,To learn a little more and help her other students who come to the Learning Centers to increase their incomes in the house.”  Ana said, “I think it’s a very good class because it helps me to continue learning more and also it’s a way to get incomes for the family.”  Elizabeth shared, “I chose the bag class because I always wanted to learn how to make them and since the opportunity was given, I took it right away and this will allow me to make my own bags.”  Dora felt, “The class keeps me out of stress, keeps my mind busy, one can let his/her imagination fly as far as styles, fabric used and accessories. Also because I learn about what machines are appropriate with the types of fabric we use and overall is an interesting class.”

The Learning Center Project continues to be of great interest and Mirna who has observed the project for about 15 years commented, “The interest of women over the bag making class is growing and growing incredibly. Women believe in the concept of learning, sharing and teaching to the other as opportunities are presented to pass on the knowledge. Self- improvement for a better life is what keeps them going by just learning simply techniques such as bag making.”

The women also shared with us why they value the class. Carmen said, “It is a very important class especially because the organization has given us support not only with materials but with education.”  Ana replied, “Because I learn, share and offer different opportunities to other women who also want to learn.  It’s important also because we get helped with the materials needed for the class.”  Elizabeth shared, “I value the class because it’s interesting and every day I take the class, I learn more on new techniques on how we can vary the styles.  I also value the class because of the patience of the teacher to share her knowledge and the time devoted to the group who is learning. I hope she continues to have that enthusiasm to teach others.”

Dora’s comment perhaps sums up what most of the women are feeling as they desire to improve their quality of life, “The class is valuable because it can teach me how to become an entrepreneur to generate incomes.”

Thank you to all the people who have helped the Learning Center Project to continue, and to all those who will help in the future. Making an investment in another person’s life has significant results that can last beyond a lifetime. 

Teacher Petronila demonstrating the techniques
Teacher Petronila demonstrating the techniques
Busy classroom
Busy classroom
Proud students
Proud students
Nice work!
Nice work!
Very colorful bags, each is unique!
Very colorful bags, each is unique!
 
   

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