Volunteer Appreciation Day
On Saturday July 18, during the mid year school vacation, a group of 13 staff, community and TCU volunteers set out for a fun day of games, relaxation and appreciation as the BWAB staff recognized the efforts of the dedicated volunteers that are a consistent support to the organization. Thank you volunteers for your commitment and care for the work of ENYLB!
Girl's Group Outing Another fun event which took place this July, making the most of the mid-year school vacations, was an outing to Crea+, inside the San Jose Museo de Ninos, with the girls from the TS and LC girls groups. Accompanied by ENYLB team and volunteers, the girls spent a great morning taking photos, spending quality time as a group and getting to know those from another community.
Core Team Retreat
With Costa Rica schools and our tutoring program on hiatus, on July 24 the ENYLB core team took an important retreat to Villa Tina in San Carlos to restore foundations, rejuvenate spirits and communion with each other.
Organizing a community clean-up is a great way to make your community a cleaner place, connect with friends and neighbors, and give back to the community. A big difference can be seen from the efforts in a small amount of time. A tidy neighborhood can do so much, like help residents feel safe and secure, develop a sense of community pride and it also sets a good example for all people to live a healthy, active and environmentally concious lifestyle. Last Saturday, Boy with a Ball community leaders in El Triangulo planned and executed a successful community clean up and a great time doing it! About 30 youth from the community put on their vests and gloves to clean up the community and take some time to think about what contamination does to their community!
The ENYLB team, volunteers and program participants are the heart and soul of the Foundation. It is a pleasure to introduce you to some of these uplifting individuals, whose stories demonstrate what is possible with dedication and courage.
Meet Monica. She is 18 years old, from the community of Los Cuadros. She first came to ENYLB by attending tutoring sessions, which played a vital role in finishing her high school degree. During these tutoring sessons, a tutor mentioned the opportunity volunteer, which spoke to Monica’s strong desire to help others in her community. Monica began tutoring younger kids and in 2014 became the Foundation’s volunteer coordinator. She fulfilled this role for 9 months and at the end of 2014, was contracted as a program assistant for the Foundation, the first step in her fulfilling a dream. Monica also helps with the girls groups in both communities.
When asking Monica about the Foundation’s work, she said that she loves it not just because she works there, but because many of the kids from the communities do not see a light, opportunity or open doors in their lives. This is what the Foundation shows them. “Life is like a staircase, and the Foundation is a bannister. It does not move you but it is there to support you along the way. We give people the tools they need. People want to be involved and continue doing more because they see people in their community growing.”
One of Monica’s goals was to work for the Foundation and she has already achieved this. “If I do not strive to be a better person every day, how can I inspire those from the communities to do the same?” Monica has many dreams and knows that to reach to her long term goals she must go step by step. Her first goals are to finish her education, which she knows she needs to move forward. She wants to continue to work and live to give other people powerful life tools and set an example. In her life, ELYLB has supported and inspired her, seeing people move forward from situations even harder than hers. “If I can, you can”.
Meet Marlon. His dream is to finish college
Marlon is 23 years old. Since age 14, he’s lived in Triangulo de la Solidaridad, a community which will be relocated later this year.
Right now, Marlon is part of the college scholarship program, enrolled in his second year of university, and on top of that, is on scholarship with the language institute Idiomas Mundiales receiving English classes. As mentioned, Marlon’s dream is to finish college and these were his words: “My dream is to finish my degree to be able to work in what I am preparing myself to do, and to be able to help other people like me who need to move forward, but because of socioeconomic reasons, are not able to achieve their goals.”
Marlon also gave us his opinion about the work of the Foundation: “I think the work of the Foundation is really important for the communities they help, thanks to this, many young people like me are able to achieve our dreams of studying in search of a better life, since the first thing they ask you when it comes times to find a job is about your degree, etc. Besides that, the Foundation helps those in their programs to grow as people, socially and spiritually. For me, it also helped me to understand things that I hadn’t before, like the value of believing not just what you see and that there are still people that care about others - to share this with others to change this negative idea that ‘I can’t do anything’. No one is born educated, but if I believe that everyone has the capacity to learn, this alone is achieving something when we suggest it.
First Graduates from Triangulo de Solidaridad
In 2007, in the Triangulo de Solidaridad community, there were nearly no young people who finished high school and according to estimated data by a CNFL census (2010-2011), only 6% of the population had their high school diplomas. Now, thanks to the Foundation’s college scholarship program, 21 young people are being assisted, the majority of which have already finished high school.
For the Boy with a Ball team, it’s an honor to share this great news and to be a part of this process in the life of these people from Triangulo de la Solidaridad, real innovators as they are the first university graduates.
They are Edgar Hernandez and Raquel Henriquez, both graduated from the University of Costa Rica. Not only is this an achievement for them, but also for the entire community, because aside from their great example, they have taught us that with perseverance and effort, you can achieve your goals.
Edgar graduated with a degree in Geography and has collaborated as a program assistant for 2 years. At this time he is a volunteer in several activities and is also a part of the directors association of the community. Raquel, graduated in Business Administration, became involved in the Foundation 7 years ago. She became a scholarship recipient, has worked for the Foundation, and now is an active volunteer in different programs like the girls groups in Los Cuadros and El Triangulo, in communications, among other things.
From volunteering, to a change of perspective of life
Andrés Alizaga. He is a student of management in UCR, Costa Rica. He heard of the NGO through his college and the community service they have to do in school, he has been with the organization as a volunteer for 8 months.
Here is what he has to tell us:
One of the volunteering experiences that impacted him: When a kid from the tutoring program said to me that he did really great in his math test thanks to my help; from there a great relationship was formed tutor-student and created motivation for the kid to keep studying mathematics. Also, the Christmas party in which I participated motivated me when I saw the joy and happiness the kids had when they were receiving their gifts.
Why did you choose us to volunteer? The NGO offered different alternatives such as Christmas campaigns, tutoring, office work and others.
How did your life change? Changes in my perspective of life, the experience has been really enriching and opened new doors for me to collaborate with people in need. It’s been a new contact in volunteering that I’ve never experimented.
What do you recommend to others in respect to your experience? To go for it, look for a friend that introduces you to an NGO, the experience is incredible.
Great news, BID-ConSoc, BWABCR
Recently we have been admitted as part of the Social Society Council (ConSoc) of the Interamerican Development Bank (BID) in Costa Rica, whose job is to participate in the creation and advising of policies that the bank has for the country. This means a lot to us and we are happy to share it with you.
Re-location of families Triángulo Solidario
Last July 25th, the government announced that they will be relocating 191 families of Triángulo Solidario (one of the communities we have been working for 6 years). Boy with a Ball has been involved with the government and the communities in this process, doing everything at hand to make sure the families are well transitioned to a new house, since it’s illegal to live where they live. The other 350 families will stay in the community for 2 years until the government reaches a house/solution for them.
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