Apr 12, 2019

Sharing ideas and stories at March meetings

Checking out the gardens at the ANF
Checking out the gardens at the ANF

Every month representatives from each Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners Learning Center in Nicaragua come together to share ideas, stories, and experiences. These meetings are typically held at the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas office in Managua, Nicaragua. March’s Learning Center meeting was particularly special as it was held at the American Nicaraguan Foundation where the Tipitapa Learning Center carries out activities and projects. 

Several buses took representatives from the capital city of Managua out to the ANF and many travelled by car, on foot, or by bike to attend the meeting. At the meeting, representatives got to learn about the Sweet Progress program and about several gardening and nutrition projects taking place.

The ANF is a large facility located in Tipitapa, Nicaragua where individuals can come to take classes on baking, cooking, woodworking, agriculture, sewing, knitting, and much more. One very exciting and popular class that is being taught through the Sweet Progress organization is beekeeping! Students can learn about how to properly manage a hive, how to harvest the honey and beeswax, see the different products being made from what they harvest, and purchase hand-made beekeeping suits. So far, over 19,000 women and teenagers have been involved with this program.

At the same time as the Learning Center meeting, back in Wisconsin W/NP was having our Quarterly Meeting. Special guest Maria Centeno Tercero from Estelí, Nicaragua presented on her theater program, Iniciativa Colibrí. Maria started the program 7 years ago as a way for children in her community to express themselves in a safe place. Children can participate in the program at no cost and learn about how to positively interact with others and express their emotions through acting, art, and dance. The program currently has 45 participants that range from ages 5-18. There is even a group of adult community members that regularly participate in the activities as well!

At the Quarterly meeting intern Katelin Bridgman presented on the student chapter she has started on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus. She started the student chapter as a way to increase youth participation in the organization by giving students on campus a direct way to get involved and volunteer with W/NP. So far the student chapter has organized a school supply and backpack drive, hosted a packing event, and a Youth in Nicaragua presentation with Maria Centeno Tercero. Katelin also shared the video about the SPIN bikes that W/NP sent to Nicaragua in the last 2 shipments. These bikes were donated to W/NP by a company in California and are now at many of the Learning Centers and a fire department in Nicaragua!

Click here to learn more about Sweet Progress

Click here to learn more about the SPIN Bikes 

Click here to learn more about Iniciativa Colibrí

Thank you so much for your continued interest and support to the W/NP Learning Center program. 

Sweet Progress beekeeping class at the ANF
Sweet Progress beekeeping class at the ANF
Maria's presentation on Iniciativa Colibri
Maria's presentation on Iniciativa Colibri
Saying hello to the ANF at the Quarterly Meeting
Saying hello to the ANF at the Quarterly Meeting
Learning lots at the ANF!
Learning lots at the ANF!
Learning about woodworking at the ANF
Learning about woodworking at the ANF

Links:

Jan 9, 2019

Sharing ideas and raising awareness of W/NP

It has been an exceptionally busy few months for the Wisconsin-Nicaragua Partners of the Americas. In early December, 6 members of the organization, 3 from Wisconsin and 3 from Nicaragua, attended the Partners of the Americas-What Works 2018 conference in San Antonio, TX. At this conference they shared ideas, tips, and tricks for how to make a partnership successful with other POA organizations.

The women from Wisconsin presented on volunteer service with other organizations and how strategic alliances are important tools to enhance an organizations ability to accomplish missions and goals. The women from Nicaragua also presented on Nicaraguan women social and economic development where they talked about the process of creating the learning centers and their successful impact on personal/professional growth and income generation for women and families throughout the country.

After the conference, all 6 of the women traveled back to Stevens Point, WI where they met with other W/NP members at the quarterly meeting and shared their new ideas from the conference and how W/NP has made a life-changing impact on their communities and in their own lives. While the Nicaraguan women were still in Wisconsin, they presented at several other locations to raise awareness of W/NP including the local high school and university.

On December 13th, W/NP volunteers filled and shipped 4 containers to Nicaragua. This humanitarian shipment included educational supplies, sewing machines/supplies, sports equipment, furniture (bookshelves, chairs, desks, tables) and firefighting gear. The objective is to improve quality of life, vocational options, income, self-sufficiency and empowerment for people living throughout Nicaragua. Residing in a developing country, resources and opportunities are scarce, and with the cooperation of many people it is possible to share with those most in need. The containers departed W/NP warehouse in Stevens Point, WI and will arrive at the W/NP warehouse in Managua for distribution throughout Nicaragua.

-          Click Here to read about our Nicaraguan guests sparking the interest of local high school students in the W/NP organization

-          Click here to read about the UWSP Student Chapter that will be forming in 2019

Sep 14, 2018

Coming together to exchange knowledge and support

July Learning Center Meeting
July Learning Center Meeting

The monthly meetings for the Learning Center program are held the last Saturday of each month at the offices of the Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners of the Americas in Managua, Nicaragua.  All are welcome and attendence continues to be between 40 – 50 people. The gatherings typically begin with a prayer giving thanks to God for the good things of life and for being able to participate in the meeting. Each person makes a self-presentation indicating names, where they come from and which Learning Center they belong to so that they know each other and which classes are being carried out in each community.

Highlights for the July meeting included a new leader named Brenda, who traveled 253 km a day earlier to be in Managua and participate for the first time. Ana Julia shared how to make a craft with foamy. The whole group was very enthusiastic. The participants were reminded to make their statistical chart to keep the information updated of all the training carried out in the Learning Centers, that the quarterly reports must be delivered, they must be true, with accurate information and with a few photos.

Comments from participants:

Erayda, from the Hossana center, brought two students to learn about the organization and they shared that they are very happy to have participated. At this time they are learning sewing and feel grateful for everything they learn in their community. They have a group of eight women making different items, selling them in places in the community, which makes them very enthusiastic.

Estela, I add that they are working well. There are people who think that working with children with disabilities cannot be done, but she affirms that it can, since they are taught gradually, they are cooperative and learn.

Soyla, shared how that they are doing sewing and weaving. They also think about making a project, a soup kitchen for people with scarce resources, she is happy to be able to support her community.

Highlights from the August meeting included a special class to make women’s trousers taught by Janina from the APAN (Asociacion Pro-Ayuda a la Ninez Nicaraguense) Learning Center in Diriamba. All the participants committed to bringing their finished garment to the next meeting end of Septemeber.  Vilma, supported by Flor de María, her daughter, taught how to make doll keychains using leftover fabric and trimmings, to recycle materials. It is a craft that can be sold easily to raise funds for your center.

Evaluations:

Marina – “The class was excellent and I liked it because the keychains will recycle little bits and pieces of fabric materials.” The women also asked to reactivate the pastry classes.

Eraida – She shared her experience, sleepless and tired, “I come because these training sessions are very important and then I can multiply and sell the items.”

Vilma – “It is satisfying to teach my crafts and have them reproduced in each center. The buttons are expensive, but everything works for us.”

Martha – “This will be shared with parents, and our colleagues, for the different times that we work with recycled materials.

Estela – Told us that we all need to come to these meetings to exchange knowledge and support. “We have 10 years of being together and we are grateful for everything that machines and materials allow us to create. At the beginning I came and went with the materials, to do the sewing class, and now I carry the beautiful handcrafts for my children. There is a fair in October and we are already doing many things to sell there. For our promotion I am making a brochure.”

Participants were reminded that the organization is non-political and does not distinguish itself from religion, race or political party and that in this way it is possible to work in harmony and for the most needy. Recommend tolerance and be more generous.

Thank you to all who continue to help the Learning Centers thrive in Nicaragua, even amidst very difficult circumstances.

Statistical data
Statistical data
Learning together, sharing knowledge
Learning together, sharing knowledge
August meeting making trousers
August meeting making trousers
Finished products
Finished products
Finished projects
Finished projects
 
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