Thanks to a very generous donor from Alberta, Canada, we are now able to build an annex on Los Pipitos! The annex will be for preschoolers so that they can have their own space to play and learn. While the area for Los Pipitos is not huge, we are confident that we can find the space to make this happen. The donation is large enough that we will be able to build a beautiful space with all the necessary educational materials.
The donor is Elsie Elder. She made the contribution on behalf of her daughter, Elizabeth Rose, who died not long ago. Elizabeth was disabled and struggled for many years to live a normal life. Elsie said that she knew that Elizabeth would have been honoured to be part of this project.
Thanks again to all our donors for helping us with Los Pipitos!
We visited Los Pipitos again in March of this year and were really impressed by all the improvements and updates to the school. We have two teachers now and both work very hard each and every day (Thank you, Liliam and Sebastien!)
On our visit, we brought with us a few people from another organization. They, too, were really amazed by Los Pipitos. One of them, a speech therapist from Alberta, decided she wanted to become involved. On her return home to Canada, she arranged for an IPad to be filled with apps to help some of the students work on their speaking skills. Thanks to a rather roundabout route involving several Canadians, the IPad is now at Los Pipitos and is being used daily!
We will also be hiring an assistant teacher soon! Stay tuned for more updates from Los Pipitos...
Los Pipitos continues to grow and to gain the interest of other people and organizations. In the past year, there has been a steady increase in the number of volunteers as well. We have a long-term volunteer who is teaching some of the students to read and write. We also have a speech therapist coming in March 2013. Some of the older students have begun to make money for the school through the creation and sale of pinatas. Many of the students participated this year in a Paralympics event held in San Juan del Sur. The school also has a Board of Directors who are all very concerned with the well-being of the students.
We have also gained a number of new students, who were previously not attending school at all. These students have benefited enormously just by being somewhere with new people every day.
Hello to everyone who has generously supported Los Pipitos, our school for the disabled in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua!
This school has garnered a lot of attention since its doors were opened for the first time in 2008. There is one full-time teacher there (Liliame) and one very dedicated volunteer, Sebastian, who is from the Netherlands but who has been working at Los Pipitos for several months now. His focus is on teaching some of the older pupils how to read and write.
In our last report, we mentioned that we've hired Oliver to help oversee the various volunteers to Los Pipitos. We also wrote about how Oliver needed an MRI to determine whether he'd one day be able to walk again. Good news and bad news here: He had the MRI and with an operation and some physiotherapy, it is possible that he may one day walk again! However (and there always seems to be a "however" in Nicaragua), this operation costs approximately $10,000. We are now working on ways to fundraise for this.
We've just come back from a visit to Nicaragua. While we were there, we went to Los Pipitos to see how everything was going. We're happy to report that the school has made a lot of progress in the last six months. They have a classroom schedule containing large group activities as well as individual work for each student according to their needs. They are receiving regular visits from a physiotherapist as well. Some of the students painted a mural on the front of the school which really adds to the cheeriness of the place. Everyone there, both staff and students look happy and healthy! The older students are making really beautiful pinatas to see in the town as well, with proceeds going to the school. All in all, we're really proud of this place and all that everyone has accomplished here.
A few years ago, we met Oliver through Los Pipitos. Oliver is in a wheelchair due to a fall from a tree as a child. We helped Oliver finish his degree in accounting and business administration. He now works for our foundation as the volunteer coordinator for Los Pipitos. Last week, we found out that he may walk again! However, first he needs an MRI diagnostic exam, which costs about $750 in Nicaragua. We have started a fund for him as this does not fall within the parameters of our foundation. If you know of anyone who would be interested in helping a very nice guy walk again someday, please let us know!
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