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Mid Year Sponsor Activity and Distribution Day!

August 20, 2007

A few kids were already waiting when we arrived. The trip had been short, though bouncing up dirt roads in the back of a pickup truck stacked with school supplies had proved more challenging than anticipated; despite Darcy’s careful driving, wayward packets of notebooks slipped out of the boxes, sending Anielka and Carla sprawling to restore them before they bounced out of the truck altogether. Still, we made it in good order—all 186 bundles intact.

With the help of the few early arrivals, we unloaded the truck, and lined a dozen boxes filled with notebooks, pens, pencils, and paper against the wall. It was Saturday morning, but that didn’t seem keep anyone in bed, and by nine, students in the EI program began to pour in—most with a parent in tow.

Soon, every desk in the large classroom where the students were gathering was occupied and some of the youngest children sat in circles on the floor. Anielka explained the drawing activity—a connect-the-dot coloring book picture of a dog—and everyone got to work. Older siblings helped younger ones while mothers anxiously supervised, and a brisk trade in colored pencils commenced.

Perros of every possible color, brown to be sure, but also red, green, purple, and yellow, gradually took shape. Children excitedly compared their work, racing up to Kathy and Milagros with pride. “Look, look!” Once finished, they raced out into the schoolyard and received their second-semester school supplies from Darcy.

Not everyone was having such a good time. 9-year-old Luis Angeca Tañeda sat glumly in a desk. Not enrolled in the EI program, there was no packet of supplies awaiting him, and no coloring-book worksheet either. “I just wanted to see what was going on,” he said. Kathy explained the program to him, and why he wouldn’t be able to receive any of the notebooks, pens, and pencils that others were already waving excitedly. There was only material available for those already enrolled, she explained. His face fell. “Can I join?” he asked. Perhaps in the future, but for now, Luis doesn’t live in Villa Esperanza, so he is not eligible for EI’s programs.

He remained sitting quietly though, absorbing the convivial community atmosphere until Anielka took pity on him and gave him a worksheet. He sprang to life, eagerly collecting an assortment of bright pencils and set to work drawing an electrifying brown-and-green dog. Proudly showing off his work, you would have never known he wasn’t part of the program. Perhaps soon, as the program grows and develops, he will be.

~ Posted by Sam Jacoby

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In Nicaragua 50% of the kids that start 1st grade never make it to 5th grade. It is our goal to make this percentage drop significantly.

$30/month is what it takes us at Empowerment International to put a child in school. If you would like to help a child stay in school and get better life, please click on the link below or contact us

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