An Opportunity To Help Fund A Dream

Somehow, the blog I wrote about our second TWB soccer ball give away in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Granada, Nicaragua never got posted…guess I should have taken care of business before hitting that great Flor de Caña rum! Anyway, this is what I wrote on December 4th:

We just had the most friggin´AMAZING experience giving out balls in a rural area where they are building a school for the kids. We were ushered into a half-completed structure where a few dozen kids from about 6-12 were waiting to greet us with huge hugs and giant smiles. In our honor, some of the children performed two folkloric dances and then presented us with beautiful woodblock prints that they had created. We gave the director of the school the five balls and when he pulled them out of the bag and tossed them on the ground, the kids went wild, screaming with joy and engaging in a free-for-all kick around. It was total chaos and total joy! William was so happy that he didn´t really even mind being eaten alive by mosquitoes while filming…Hope to God he doesn´t come down with dengue fever. (I´ve had it before and it sucks…) When it was time for us to leave, the kids gave us more hugs and then walked us a couple of blocks to where we could catch a taxi back to town. It´s a bummer that we can´t upload the pics or videos yet — we didn´t bring our own laptap and are using the posada´s — but in a few weeks when we get home we´ll have some great footage to share with all of you.

The bright-eyed, cheerful youngsters we met don’t have it easy. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (Haiti is the first) and 46% of its population lives on $1.15 a day. No, that’s not a typo — $1.15 a day! 14% of children living there suffer from malnutrition and 24% of the population cannot read or write.

Which is what makes local charitable groups trying to improve the situation so important and so worthy of our support. The Asociacion Integral a La Familia is an all-volunteer organization that is trying to build a school for the kids we gave the balls to. When it’s finished, the Center Juan Pablo II will be used for regular academics and also function as a place where volunteers can teach language classes; offer sewing, carpentry and hairstyling workshops; and run sports and arts programs. The Center will not only serve kids, but at-risk teenagers, single moms and unemployed families, as well.

$6,200 is all that’s needed to finish the school. If the money for building supplies is obtained, volunteers will be able to complete the construction by the end of January. Imagine how beautiful it would feel to help fund a dream that is so close to becoming a reality. If you would like to consider contributing, please email me at z2hebu@yahoo.com and I will email you the pdf that the director of the charity sent me — it has all the facts and figures of the building project, as well as some great photos of the kids!

And if any of you have been thinking about volunteering abroad for awhile, the Asociacion Integral a La Familia welcomes those who have a skill to teach (English, computers, performing arts, etc.), are able to pay their own way and are willing to make a 3-month commitment. Granada is an affordable, safe and fun city and the kids belonging to the organization are adorable so this is a fantastic volunteer opportunity!

Peace & Blessings,

Jan

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