May 28, 2012

About our volunteer Svenja

I am Svenja Fillet from Belgium. I am volunteering for three months for La Esperanza and I am giving sport lessons at all the schools. My school in Belgium recommended La Esperanza.

I am studying to become a teacher of sports, it is 3 years in total and I am in my last year. I don’t think that you can compare it to the education here, because the education and also the job are totally different. It is way more relaxed and they don’t have to learn the same things as we learn in Belgium.

What I like about the work, is that  the kids come every single day to say hello to me, because they are so happy that there is a volunteer from another country to help them and to teach them different things. The challenging part, is the difference between cultures.

Besides my work, I like to go to the market, because every time it is an experience! If I had 24 hours left in Nicaragua, I would spend them at Isla de Ometepe. I really like the nature there and the many animals that you see. It is less touristic there and I like it better than all the cities where they live from tourism.

If I can give one advise to the volunteers, I would say ‘’Do as much as you can, because otherwise, you will regret it!’’

May 13, 2012

Nataly wins a prize!

Nataly de la Concepción Hernández Flores

Nataly is six years old, in her house live six people. Her mother, Ivania del Carmen Flores, her father Fredy Ramon Torres, and three brothers and sisters.  Sister Daniela 10 years, Brother Wilfor 9 years and baby brother Varrilio, 6 months.
The family would love to have wooden boards on the outside walls of the house, it is made with pieces of roofing iron, and that makes it very hot,.  They also wish it could be a little larger as it is very small.
They only have one bed, without a mattress, where the mother and father sleep, and the children sleep together on a mat on the ground. 
Nataly’s father abandoned them when she was in the womb, and now they have a stepfather Fredy.  Fredy works at the abatoir killing pigs.  Ivania is a housewife.
Some other notes:  There is no job or work that Ivania can get, and Fredy’s work at the abatoir is a job where he is on call when there is work available, not a job with a regular salary.
All three of the children attend the school Nueva Esperanza each day, and Nataly’s name was drawn in the raffle of children who have perfect school attendance.  For the pictures her mother dressed her in the best clothes they have. 
The photos and interview were done by Tatiana, one of our local volunteers who lives in the same barrio, and Donald, also local who is our volunteer coordinator.  I would not have asked (as an outsider) to go inside and take pictures.
The house and yard are swept clean, and everything is as good as they can make it.  
Now Nataly has won an attendance prize at school - her name was drawn of all the children with perfect attendance.  She has won the home improvements donation of a U.S. family who will visit in July.  They are aiming to bring enough money for a whole new house.  $2500 will build a brand new house - $3000 including a latrine.  Nataly's family has a latrine, many don't.  
Families in this barrio desperately want a better future for their children.  They know that education is important and send their children to school.  This gives an extra incentive to make sure they are there every day.