For many years, the Nicaragua Children’s Foundation has worked to find ways to pay for the projects that we undertake in Nicaragua. We have tried many different methods of fundraising; some have been successful, and others less so! One idea that we had early on was to bring home ceramic pieces in our luggage to sell here in Canada. These hand-made pieces are always very popular in our silent auction events. This year, we decided to go one step further. We found a way to import pottery profitably, so that we will be able to provide further support to our projects. 25% of all profits will go directly to our work.
With the help of our Nicaraguan agent, the NCF met with artisans from the nearby town of San Juan de Oriente. We worked closely with them to try to find a match between what we could sell in Canada and what the artists could produce. Then, we all worked together to find a way to bring the ceramic pieces to Canada. This was a very new experience for all of us, but we knew it was a success on the day that 88 boxes of ceramics arrived at our doorstep!
History of the NCF-
The Nicaragua Children's Foundation began in 2006 following a family vacation to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Our family of five was very moved by the people we met in Nicaragua. We all signed up for Spanish lessons and in doing so, we were fortunate enough to get to know our teacher, Veronica Castro. Veronica has had a very great influence on us; she helped us to understand the uphill battles faced by the people of Nicaragua. Upon returning home, we decided that we would like to do something to make the lives of Nicaraguan children a little brighter. Veronica, who is now our agent, has been instrumental in helping us identify projects that we could undertake. We began by improving the large town school, but soon after, we moved into the rural communities surrounding San Juan del Sur. We built a preschool and repaired and improved several schools. In 2008, we also helped to establish Los Pipitos, a school for children with special needs. The Nicaragua Children's Foundation became a registered Charity in Canada in February, 2009.
By 2012, we realized that children’s lives depended to a great extent on the success of their families, so we shifted focus to include economic and community development. We began a microloan program for rural women, which now includes several communities. We also put electricity into two rural towns, improved water systems, established a children’s centre and playground. We have hosted numerous organizations such as Kindness in Action, a group of Canadian dentists, and World Vets, who have worked alongside us to make the small rural communities better places to live.
Since its inception, the NCF has raised over $400,000.
Our Mission statement:
The purpose of the Nicaragua Children’s Foundation is to improve the lives of children and their families in the area of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua and in its surrounding areas. We do this in three ways:
- We contribute to the advancement of education in Nicaragua by providing materials, books, resources and physical improvements to existing schools.
- We help to provide economic and infrastructure development to rural communities through our microloan program and through contribution to special projects such as electricity and water. We also encourage communities to become more self-sufficient through the establishment of Community Development Funds.
- We strive to protect the more vulnerable members of the communities in which we work. This includes children, elders, the disabled and animals. When a community takes care of its more vulnerable members, everyone benefits.
The Nicaragua Children's Foundation believes that-
- Every child has a right to an education and to the tools that will enable him/her to learn.
- Each one of us has the ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
- We work collaboratively with the communities in which we work to create and support projects that are appropriate for the people in the area.
- We are accountable to our supporters; all donations go to providing help to children in Nicaragua. All expenses, including administrative costs are paid for by our family.