Nov 8, 2018

Help us to help!

pinata for the visitors of L'Arche
pinata for the visitors of L'Arche

Dear supporter of our work

Some of you received our English 5th Newsletter. If not, and you are interested, please write a mail to:ruachjuigalpa@

In our Ruach newsletter we informed you about the connections we have with the international L’Arche organisation, hoping to be part of that family one day. And about the social political situacion of represion in Nicaragua that is very worrying.

We were also very lucky to inform you about two campaigns planned, to help us raise money. To support the activities we are doing for and with people with an intellectual disability. Because without money raising we are not able to do what we are doing!

  • We ask all our friends, contacts and people who want to support us to make a donation on the GlobalGiving page the 27th of November, joining the Thanks Giving Tuesday campaign! See details below.
  • A friend, Eric, will organise a sponsor-run for our Fundación the 10th of November! So please, sponser Eric and our work. See details below.

 10th of November:

Eric Jager, our Dutch-English translator and unoffical Ruach ambassador in the UK, is organising a second sponsored run to raise money for the Ruach Foundation. This time supported by team mates from SPFit, the most social running club in Dorset UK, which he recently joined.

Eric writes: “I trust it will be a good event. Start and finish are from our home. Last time (2016) I ran solo 26.2 km, so I’ll raise the bar higher this year. My aim is 32 km this time. Being two years older at 62 it won’t be easy. Please sponsor me IF I beat the 2016 distance of 26.2 km. Via Vivir Juntos in € ( or via GlobalGiving in $.


The 27th of November is another great moment to support us!

 GlobalGiving has designated November 27 as #GivingTuesday, a global day that kicks off a charitable season for ‘giving back’ on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and after the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


GlobalGiving’s 2018 #GivingTuesday Campaign will begin Nov. 27, 2018, at 00:00:00 ET and end at 23:59:59 ET on Nov. 27, 2018 (in £, $).

Matching funds and bonus prizes will be displayed on the #GivingTuesday leaderboard.

GlobalGiving has pledged to add up to 50% of your gift to Ruach if received on 27th of November.

We would like to buy some computers for the Activities Centre, which would expand the scope of the centre, and help the participants to learn more and progress in their development. Every desk top computer will cost about $ 600,- US.

So, if you are inclined to financially support us, please give a donation via GlobalGiving that day, helping us to give a better life to intellectually disabled people who are still not valued for who they are and for what they offer to our society here in Juigalpa!

Can we count on you to buy one, maybe two computers? Every penny we raise will contribute to improve the activities of the people with an intellectual disability in the activity club in Juigalpa!

Donating is possible projects/ fundacionruach (Human rights   Nicaragua   # 28192)


'If you think you are too small to make  a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito'        Dalai Lama

making pinata en the activity centre
making pinata en the activity centre
sharing together
sharing together
Sep 20, 2018

Second anniversary of our Foundation Ruach

The 24th of August was the big day! Everything was  ready for celebrating the second birthday of the Ruach Foundation!

The party took place in the morning. We had invited about 70 people, among them representatives of local ministries, and many other people who in one way or the other have contributed to the well-being of our Foundation. We can only celebrate together, with people who feel involved with us. That is why we had also invited, by email, people who live far away, to give them a chance to ‘be with us’ on the day. We have had many warm responses, including this one:

‘Yesterday I read out your invitation in our meeting. It was well received. On behalf of everyone we’d like to say:
– keep up the good work
– we wish you a good life together
– congratulations
– strength
– we will stay connected
– lots of success in what you do


From 8 am we were busy turning our big sitting room into a conference hall for at least 60 people. Of course we had rented extra chairs for this occasion. Our walls, inside and outside, had been adorned with party decorations and balloons. Around 10 am the music equipment and the master of ceremonies arrived, and the coffee and tea and snacks were ready for the first visitors to arrive. Starting events ‘in time’ is next to impossible in Nicaragua, and people commonly arrive an hour or so late for events. But we had agreed that our celebrations would start at least at 10:30, or soon thereafter.   

Loyda, Daniel, Miguel and Jonathan participated in the program, singing together with their mentors, a children’s song (although probably more by the mentors than our residents!) This was enjoyed by everyone in their own way! The participants of the activities centre also song two songs - The week before, I heard them practising every day.  

My role was being hostess and giving a visual report of what we had achieved in the home and the activities centre in the past year. Because of course a presentation of pictures is more attention-catching than words. There was also a Question and Answer time before we closed the formal part of the meeting.

Because we want  to show we are oecumenical, the celebration was started by a Roman Catolic priest, and an evangelical pastor ended the celebration. Very uncommon in Nicaragua were the gap between churches is still big!

The music band then took over, while visitors enjoyed a drink or snack. Those who did not know our house were  welcome to make a tour of the community home. The celebrations ended with a lunch for personnel, residents, participants of the activities centre, relatives and some good friends, in total about 40 people.  

A new beginning 

A birthday is also an opportunity to look back at the year that has just passed. We look back in gratitude, not so much because we have not met obstacles on our way or that all our projects were implemented according to plan, but because we feel that our work is being blessed, and that our circle of friends is growing in both Nicaragua and other countries, friends with whose support we can make a difference.

A birthday is also the starting point for a new year in which new challenges await us. Symbolic for our work at Ruach is this picture of the first harvest of our garden project. It has taken a lot of trial and effort to get this far but we have persevered and have won. This week we harvested the first cucumbers. We pray that the work of our Foundation may bear fruit in the next year. We thank you for every drop that you contribute to watering our ‘garden’!

Jul 16, 2018

Volunteers are welcome!


From  30th May until the end of June Rob from the Netherlands has been a guest at Casa Hogar, the Ruach community home.  In spite of the disturbed situation in Nicaragua, he was glad he came. He had booked his journey before the turmoil started. And fortunately the political situation did not prevent him from doing what he came for: to spend some time in the community”.


"Let me introduce myself. I am Rob Hennekens (61) and live in Groningen, the Netherlands. I’m a guest at Casa Hogar, the Ruach community home, for three weeks. I arrived on 30th May. The journey from Managua was eventful with lots of barriers on the way as reported in the previous blog. After a few days of getting used to the place, I feel totally at home now. I can converse in Spanish at a basic conversation level. I participate in the running of the household and in the stimulation programme for the residents, using the SonRise method. I’m not an experienced pedagogue, but I’ve picked up a lot; it’s a matter of empathizing, listening and looking. And there are tangible results: I’m getting more and more contact with the residents and I feel included in the community.

The home
The common area is spacious, with a large veranda and a garden at the back with mango trees. As is common here, the roof consists of corrugated iron sheets. It is the mango season, and ripe mangos drop to the ground, ….or onto the sheet-iron roof ,which makes a heck of a lot of noise!. At first I got a fright, thinking I was hearing gunfire. The bedrooms are fairly small, also because the ones on the ground floor and first floor are partitioned to create two sleeping spaces out of one bedroom. I had a choice of two sleeping spaces and opted for the one in the garage. The first night I felt as if I was sleeping under a bridge as there was so much outside noise around, but I soon got used to it.

The day is tightly scheduled to help the residents function well within a clear structure. Breakfast is at 7am, followed by a contemplation using a bible text or something else; at 9am we sing children’s songs; stimulation sessions for the residents start at 10am. After a delicious lunch, the main meal of the day, there are more individual stimulation sessions of 30 minutes each between 2pm and 5.30pm. Evening prayer is at 6pm followed by the evening meal. Within this rigid structure everything happens with a lot of attention, love and complete acceptance.

Extra activities
On my first day we celebrated Mothers Day in the activities centre where the more able compañeros have their afternoon activities. I had brought stroopwafels ( syrup waffles) from the Netherlands, a Dutch delicacy, much liked as people here have a sweet tooth.

I was in Nicaragua once before, in 1985 with the summer brigade in Northern Nicaragua. I was taught a children’s song (De Colores) there, which I am now using to teach at Ruach. As singing is my big hobby I’ve found some other songs that I’ve been asked to introduce in the 30 minute daily singing slot.

My education background is in architecture and engineering. Last week we had a look at a site where potentially we could construct a new Casa Hogar and maybe the activities centre. Although the plans are still vague at present, I’ve given the ideas some thought, based on an assessment of the current home, to find what the possibilities and challenges are.

As due to the political situation it is not safe to travel, Astrid, Jonathan and I spent a night away last weekend at the holiday centre Finca Los Angeles, not far outside Juigalpa; a good place to swim, eat and spend the night. It was a nice outing to break the daily routine and to generate new energy for the remainder of my time here.

In spite of the disturbed situation in Nicaragua, I’m glad I came. I’d booked my journey before the turmoil started. Fortunately I’m able to do what I came for: to spend some time in the community. In my contacts here I am learning a lot about myself which is very worthwhile. Differences and judgements disappear, there is no duality. It is giving and receiving. Here I can be who I am".


Rob’s visit of course shows that Ruach is open to receiving people who would like to live and work in our community for at least one month. Prior experience in working with intellectually disabled people is not essential, but it is important to be adaptable, curious and eager to experience the different way of living we offer in our community. Basic ability to communicate in Spanish is important. If you are interested or would like to know more, please contact Ruach directly via:

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