Girls' Day Shelter Maria de Nazareth, Nicaragua

by Nicaragua-Projekt e.V.
Girls' Day Shelter Maria de Nazareth, Nicaragua
Girls' Day Shelter Maria de Nazareth, Nicaragua
Girls' Day Shelter Maria de Nazareth, Nicaragua
Girls' Day Shelter Maria de Nazareth, Nicaragua
Girls' Day Shelter Maria de Nazareth, Nicaragua
Girls' Day Shelter Maria de Nazareth, Nicaragua

I am very happy to report directly from Nicaragua!

In April, I spent some weeks in Ocotal, visited our projects, and spoke to the girls at the Day Shelter. Working with our partner organisation, we have come up with a new concept for this project.

Recently, there have been many changes in the social environment. Many families have been affected, as young people are leaving the country to look for new working and living opportunities in other parts of the world. These changes require us to change, too.

Our staff is directly affected by these developments. Our team has changed: we have have fewer people available and less money in our budget.

The new plan: We will support five girls age 12 to 17 to finish secondary school. We will continue to support them as they continue to learn either parallel to school or, following their examinations, to learn a profession and possibly attend university. We will pay the biggest part of their expenses: uniforms, books, school fees, and other expenses. The girls’ families will contribute a small part, if possible.

The girls will meet as a group once or twice a month to share their experiences and enjoy spending time together. They can drop in to our headquarters at any time, if they need counseling or any other type of support.

We put a strong emphasis on keeping in touch with their families to form a stronger support system for the girls.

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Holidays end soon and on January 24 th the new school year will start. This is the time with lots of expenses for the families, especially when they have many children. There is no school fee but the necessary uniforms, shoes, day packs and personal things like pens and papers cost a lot and so we support the girls with those necessary items. When teaching has started the children will come again for support for their homework, the group experience helps increase the energy to really attend classes and together they have meals and snacks and a lot of fun.

We plan to start soon some new activities, I will report about that next time.

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Circumstances are changing ...our new challange is the increasing number of girls that is living without their parents. More and more people are leaving Nicaragua for various reasons and leave their families behind. The economical situation is extremely difficult.....What used to be an exception is now very common: parents leave their homes and their children behind.... their children stay on their own. 'Our' girls often not only have to look after themselves but also after their small brothers and sisters, after their homes and many of them spend their life on the street. Certainly this has an impact on our project. We continue to offer support for those visiting our house and they receive food, psychological support, help with homework, can take part in different activities ...but less and less girls manage to attend, therefore we visit them at home, work on the streets and they know that they can come back any time, ask for support, emotional and also very practical help if necessary with food, school utensils and whatever needed.

Our project continues with a new emphasis , more important than ever.

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I am very happy that today I can tell you the story of Betty and Jennifer, two girls living in Barrio Sandino who managed with the support of the girls project to achieve a brilliant succsess: they study administration and contability at the University of Ocotal. 

It was a long way to go...they both grew up in extreme poverty but with help of their families and the girls project, they finished primary and secondary school. Nicaragua project paid the expenses for the Escuela Nicarao where they could learn administration and contability in evening classes. Jennifer was the best in her class. In day time they worked in Barrio Sandino/Casa Nazareth with the younger girls, being a great example what could be achieved...    They could continue their studies at the University of Ocotal, we paid the expenses.

Jennifer is now a final year student, Betty finished her studies and because of her brilliant results was offered a job at the University where she works in administration.

This is a story of truly sustainable help, two women who could change the condition of their and their families life.

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In October our project suffured a major loss. Our beloved director Dulce Maria, Co - founder of the Maria Nazareth girls shelter 22 years a go died of COVID.

We are very sad. The girls were very emotional about the big loss, many of them knew Dulce for a long time. 

We traveled to Nicaragua to see how we could help in finding new ways of organising the girls project to ensure further existence.

We were lucky, Gema, Dulce Maria's younger sister will continue her work. She is very capable and enthusiastic and will continue together with co-founder Violitta with lots of energy and some new ideas.

The new school year is starting in January and we support the poorest families with books, paper, pencils, backpacks and school uniforms. 

Before we left we organised an exiting day excursion : we drove to Dipilto, a village in a nearby coffee growing area with pleasant cool climate and beautiful nature, we had a walk, lots of laughter and a picnic, enjoying a happy day with the children! 

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Organization Information

Nicaragua-Projekt e.V.

Location: Bremerhaven - Germany
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Katrin Hennings
Bremerhaven , Germany
$3,952 raised of $20,000 goal
132 donations
$16,048 to go
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