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“Building success with success” – First Impressions of EI

March 9, 2009

Jamie McCaughey and Emma Hill visited our barrio outside of Granada, Nicaragua in December last year and found it to be an incredibly memorable experience. They have since been volunteering with Empowerment International and create regular newsletters for us . Here they describe their experience in detail:3080238631_1edee10eda

“We visited Granada recently and were moved by touring the barrio and meeting the children and their families. The city changes slowly, bit by bit, as you walk out from the center toward the edge.

On the surface, colonial buildings give way to more modern but good concrete homes; then solid wood and metal homes; then salvaged wood and scrap metal homes; and finally homes made of the most basic materials.  By the time we reached the edge of town, we watched a beautiful sunset in a field behind a house made of sticks and plastic sheets.

Despite the decreasing material wealth the farther we went, our feelings were not of sorrow or despair but of hope and promise.  The spirit of the people and the sense of community were moving and powerful.  We spoke with a young boy who, with raw sewage flowing down the street alongside his bare feet, told us that his favorite class was math and that he wanted to be an engineer.  We met a father of a child in the program who, as he was telling us his very insightful ideas for keeping teenagers engaged in school, carefully tied the shoelaces of his young daughter’s Mickey Mouse doll to her delight.  We met teenaged girls who were engaged in school and had grown from that commitment who hoped to help others stay engaged as well.

The parents care deeply for the children and the community cares deeply that the children attend and succeed in school.  It was clear to us that the community-based approach of Empowerment International was building success with success; as more children went to school, more people placed more value on schooling.  We met people who were empowered, who had a sense of hope grounded in confidence in their own self-worth and in their own abilities to improve their situation, and who worked in the present while looking to the future.  All of this has been achieved not with a top-down injection of masses of money but by a bottom-up approach that helps people find in themselves the ability to make things better.  We left the barrio feeling young.”

– Jamie McCaughey and Emma Hill

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In Nicaragua 50% of the kids that start 1st grade never finish  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

Donate at Change.org

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