Apr 7, 2020

Fabretto's COVID-19 Response

Dear Familia Fabretto,

As the world experiences the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, my thoughts and prayers turn to you. My sincerest hope is that you and your loved ones remain safe and in good health during these difficult times.

As Nicaragua reports its first cases of COVID-19, Fabretto is taking precautions to safeguard the health of our beneficiaries and staff. This includes handwashing campaigns, distribution of soap and hand sanitizers, and implementing online learning and teleworking. We know that a public health crisis of this magnitude is affecting us all worldwide, and we are doing everything possible to mitigate the negative impact this could have on the children and families in the communities we serve in Nicaragua.

Additionally, to protect our supporters, Fabretto has decided to postpone until further notice both the Friends of Fabretto trip scheduled this month and our annual NYC Night for Niños, usually held in May.

Because this is a quickly-changing situation, we are constantly monitoring new guidelines set by local health authorities, as well as the CDC and WHO. As the situation continues to evolve, we may need to take additional measures.

It is thanks to your unconditional support that we have been able to respond to this and other crises throughout the years in a timely and responsible way. Thank you for staying with us and for being there always. Together, we will get through this.

Take care.

Kind regards,

Kevin Marinacci

Feb 26, 2020

Ariana - The Girl Who Can do Anything

The clock strikes nine in the morning and at the María Auxiliadora education center, located in the department of Estelí, in northern Nicaragua, a group of children laughs loudly while playing. Among them is Ariana, a fourth-grade student who, despite adversity, has found a way to get ahead.

In addition to her smile, you are immediately drawn to her beautiful dark brown eyes and long eyelashes are. You would never imagine that this young face, full of life, hides a past filled with unimaginable events.

At three and a half years of age, Ariana lost her mother to cancer. From that moment, her aunt Carla took care of her and although Ariana is aware that her aunt is not her biological mother, they love each other like mother and daughter.

Years later, when Ariana was nine years old, she went to bed like any other day and the next morning, when she got up earlier than usual, her body was paralyzed. “I felt nothing and I could not move anything. The only part of my body that I was able to move, was my hands,” says Ariana, remembering that morning, after which she spent long days in the hospital.

Ariana was diagnosed with Guillain Barré syndrome, a rare neurological disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. The girl was in the hospital for three long months; two months in the Estelí health center and one month in a hospital in Managua, the capital, where she was transferred in a delicate state due to a thrombosis caused by the disease. “She was admitted to the ICU because she was very ill. To me, she is a miracle,” says her aunt, Carla, with tears in her eyes as she recalls those difficult days.

Ariana con su tía/mamá Carla

From Darkness to Light

After three months of fighting for her life, Ariana began to improve, so much so, that the thought of going back to school motivated her to continue getting better. At the beginning of the 2019 school year, Ariana arrived in a wheelchair because the disease had affected her spine and prevented her from walking. Far from losing hope, the girl set a goal: to regain mobility in her legs and to walk again, something she was able to achieve before the end of the school year, thanks to physical therapy and hard work.

Nowadays, Ariana plays and participates in school just like any other child. She is an outstanding student who loves to draw animals. With her talent, she has won two painting competitions held in computer class. All her teachers are surprised at how strong and how much of a fighter she is. Ariana is, no doubt, an inspiring girl, they say.

In the Maria Auxiliadora center there is a golden rule; saying “I can’t” is prohibited because everything is possible and if you believe something is impossible, it just means you have to try harder. Ariana has clung to this rule of life because, despite the difficulties. she has never stopped going to school and participating in the different activities. “We tell her that she is a strong girl, and she tells us: ‘I know; it’s because we children are more resilient and we are stronger than adults’,” says her teacher with a smile.

Ariana has faced countless obstacles like a true warrior, always emerging victorious because, as she says, she can do anything. One of Ariana’s goals is to go to school to become a Veterinarian so that she can take care of her beloved animals. We are confident that with your support, nothing can stop her from achieving that goal.


Dec 5, 2019

Piloting Tools to Promote Literacy

As a data-driven organization, Fabretto seeks to ensure that our programs are actually serving communities and meeting their needs. In many cases, rather than reinventing the wheel, we keep our eyes open to new tools and methodologies in the field and the ways in which we can collaborate with other organizations.

For this reason, Fabretto is piloting the Parent Engagement Needs Assessment — a tool to support literacy practitioners in promoting positive parent and caregiver engagement in children’s learning. The tool, which was inspired by the results of case studies with parents in Kenya and Uganda confirms the importance of parent engagement in improving learning outcomes. The tool will be further refined based on feedback from the pilot tests and released publicly in the coming months.

Recognizing that parental involvement is crucial to a child’s development, the Fabretto education model has always sought to engage parents by encouraging participation through volunteer work in our education centers and through workshops designed specifically for parents. However, until now, Fabretto had not had access to a structured tool and a more systematic approach to collecting information about the parents of the children we serve.

“Fabretto has worked with parents for many years, but we’ve always been asking the questions, ‘Should we be working more closely with parents? Do parents have enough time to participate? Do they understand the importance of engaging with their children to promote literacy? And are we focused enough on understanding their needs?’ Being part of this pilot was a great opportunity for us to really focus on parent engagement and to rethink our strategy,” explains Helene Meinecke, Fabretto’s Grants Manager.

Fabretto implements a community assessment tool and the pilot findings are being used to revise it. “Fabretto is a learning organization and using the tool made us structure our conversations in a way that allowed us to reflect on why we do the things we do. Just because we have done this work for so many years doesn’t mean it’s the only or best way to continue doing things,” explains Helene.

With access to new data and working together with parents, we are more equipped than ever to continue to bring literacy to the children we serve and their communities. Thank you for making our life-changing work possible!


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