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Jun 24, 2019

Our Volunteers

Seena and her son  Gael with the little ones
Seena and her son Gael with the little ones

Greetings,

Without funding for our project, we obviously couldn't achieve our goal to build a community learning center, yet equally important, are our volunteers.

We have committed profesional volunteers teaching Math and Dance, we work together with other organizations such as Libros Para Todos, who provide us books.

Right now Seena Benavides  and her sons, Gael and Mateo from San Francisco Bay area volunteering for a few weeks. They have worked tirelessly reorganizing materials, painting and done some fun activities with the kids.

Volunteers reduce cost, providing great service due to their passion for the organizations mission, allowing them to make a direct impact. It is human nature to feel good after volunteering, it's proven to reduce depression and combats stress. It also gives a good example and developes close relationships.

One such relationship I'd like to share; In the summer of 2012 a young woman, Rachel volunteered with Ojala Ninos. She was a college student from a small town in Iowa. She had never been out of the United States and was excited to share and learn.

Soon after, a young man named Adam from Ohio arrived in the village of San Miguel Viejo, looking for new adventures. He had heard of our program, offering opportunities in Art, Literacy and Music to the children of this small community. Adam loved wood working and with some left over tools went to work making toys and instruments with the children.

Rachel was teaching literacy and the two meet. Summer ends, Rachel returns to college and Adam to Ohio. They stay in touch and start to visit back and forth. They fall in love and on June 15th this year, 2019 were married. Felicidades to Rachel and Adam!

Rachel and Adam requested in lieu of wedding gifts, please donate to Ojala Ninos  GlobalGiving project. Their encounter as volunteers has brought them life long joy as well as continuing to support the organization where they first met!

We hope and appreciate your  continued  support of our community center project and encourage you  to volunteer and build strong communities where ever you are!

Best Regards

Betty Lopez

Apr 1, 2019

Spring at Ojala

Carla in the middle of kids
Carla in the middle of kids

Spring greetings to everyone,

We have a new member on our team, I am happy to announce that Carla Espinoza comes to us as a licensed psychologist and years of experience with other non profits in the state of Guanajuato. Bienvenida Carla!

Below is a picture of Carla in the middle of the kids after singing at San Miguel's annual writers conference. We are invited every year to sing for the authors and participants from all over the world. This is fabulous exposure for our organization along with building confidence and self esteem for the kids, many who rarely leave the community.

 We also participated in the annual Non Profit Organization Fair. We are able to network, often recruit new volunteers. This is also a great outlet for the kids to sell their art and help earn some money. All sales  go directly to the child. We know this helps them with their bus fair and school tuitions. It is very gratifying to see the pride on their faces when they sell something.

When you learn about Ojala Ninos, about the real children, their families and lives, about what happens to them when they experience the learning opportunities offered by the Ojala program, you will be truly excited to help with a donation.

The program is inspired by Albert Einstein's words: " I dont teach my students. I give them a place to learn!" The program is a place to learn with ideas and guidance as the principle focus for turning curiosity into exploration, discovery and learning. We need our community center!

The word Ojala comes from the ancient Arabic, Inshalah, meaning God willing. In every day language here, it means the same- or hope. We have have not lost hope that our goal will become a reality.

Thank you to all our supporters

Sincerely 

Betty Lopez 

Getting ready to sing
Getting ready to sing
Non Profit Organization  fair
Non Profit Organization fair
Jan 2, 2019

Looking forward to the New Year 2019

Knitted hats for everyone
Knitted hats for everyone

Hoy es Noche Viejo y manana es Ano Nuevo! Tomorrow is a New Year! We are grateful for what we have accomplished this year yet we still have a long way to go.

In 2019 we will build a Community Cultural Center for the community of San Miguel Viejo. The entire plan is environmentally sound and uses sustainable materials. There will be a computer center/ library, community kitchen, bathrooms, class areas, meeting areas and garden. The entrance building will be a gallery/store/office, a destination for visitors. We have the land, it is enclosed. We have the plan and professional oversight for the construction. We just need financial support to get this done. As always we are most grateful to our donors, volunteers, and our GlobalGiving family!

We most recently celebrated the traditional  Christmas Posada, with the moms each bringing a dish. We fed over 100 children and adults. Every person in attendance recieved a knitted hat.   These hats were generously made and donated by Michelle DeLong and Cherrilla Brown to keep the children and families warm this winter. When we have a celebration such as this, each child brings their own plate and cup to minimize garbage. Recycling is a big part of our message as well as a big part of the little ones "recycled art" class every Wednesday. This includes the pinatas we broke at our celebration, the kids made them! 

We also welcomed a new Art Therapy teacher in September who also helps in our literacy program. Bienvenida... Mirca Gonzalez!

 On a personal note, I have been privileged to be a part of Ojala Ninos now for 5 years and I believe in our project. I believe in the kids. They believe in me too, I was asked to take a selfie with some of our girls, Daniela, Diana, Salome, and Lulu. It made my day!  I remember when they didnt want to be photographed. They are more confident and proud and I am proud of them!

In a time when nothing is certain, I can assure you we will continue to see this center built. On behalf of Ojala Ninos, Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all! 

No  one went hungry
No one went hungry
Pinatas
Pinatas
Selfies
Selfies
 
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