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Anielka’s Interview (Part 2)

April 7, 2008

SunflowerFollowing is the continuation of the interview with Anielka, our Program Director.

Do you think EI is successful? Tell us the reason why, if so.

Yes, it is absolutely successful. Each year it is growing and improving the participant selection process. We have been fortunate to have excellent volunteers and staff who have added a lot of value. And now the community volunteers have become an integral part of our program model.

We partner with other organizations instead of creating new programs. For example we have a partnership with Pronat, an organization that offers computer classes to underprivileged girls and women.

Each year 12 positions are open for our teen girls. This offers them opportunity to receive computer classes, thus allowing the girls to participate in the technology field.

We have children who, thanks to our help, have finished primary school, moving forward to the next phase which is high school. We have had two girls graduate from High School who are now in the University while also interning in our program.

On a personal note, I have witnessed positive changes in the parents and the children; the parents have assumed more responsibility and interest in their children’s education. If it had not been for EI many children could have not continued with their education, especially when difficulties arise, since we are always facilitating solutions for these so the children can go on with their educational process. (Our program’s aim is for the children to stay in school).

What kind of impact has the program had with the children in the community since you have been working with the organization?

The fact that most of the school-age children are studying with our support has had an impact on the community. The parents are aware that we are an organization with integrity and well established principles. The children and their parents are more responsible with their education. Now, we have developed strong relationships with the schools who understand what we are working for. In Granada, more people know about us and we have been asked to serve other communities.

Are you in charge of the program in Costa Rica, too? How does the program and the situation in Costa Rica compare to Nicaragua’s?

Yes, actually I am in charge of the program in Costa Rica. My point of view is that there is no comparison between the two countries. Costa Rica is a country much more developed in the educational and economic areas than Nicaragua.

The educational system in Costa Rica is more advanced. Schools offer better working conditions for the children on the academics as well as in the infrastructure. The Costa Rican government offers more opportunities to the people, from a scholarship through a scholarship fund, a daily full lunch for the children, up to the building of houses for the families. On the other hand, the Nicaraguan government does not offer any opportunity to the children. It is said that the education is free here but no one offers the necessary conditions so the children can receive a good quality of education, let alone the government itself.

As far as the program is concerned, I travel 4 times a year trying to do the same work as in Nicaragua: visiting the children, the schools to talk with the teachers and the parents. But we do not have the human resources in Costa Rica to offer an ongoing follow-up at the schools and homes as we do in Nicaragua; that is the reason why the program in Costa Rica has not grown. The education quality in Costa Rica is superior than in our country, and the children and the parents are more motivated than those in my country.

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About Empowerment International

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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