What We Do
Nica HOPE has 4 programs working to provide long-term solutions to the families of La Chureca and surrounding communities:
1) Integral Education Program for At-risk Youth. Nica HOPE has incorporated all its programs in a comprehensive effort to target child workers and other at-risk children from the trash-dump and surrounding community. This program works to remove them from the hazardous work situation, get them back in school, and provide them with additional educational support and classes to allow the student to successfully complete school and access other future job opportunities. Each child typically receives school supplies, a school uniform, after-school tutoring, computer education and training classes, vocational skills classes, life-skills classes, parent seminars, and continual household visits and follow-up by Nica HOPE staff and volunteers. These children are individually supported through our Child Sponsorship Program.
2) Chureca Schools Support Program. Nica HOPE works to provide much-needed education support services to the schools that serve the community of La Chureca, to strengthen existing schools serving this community and children's ability to attend school. With absenteeism running as high as 30% and dozens of kids dropping out of school throughout the school year due to lack of school supplies and necessities, Nica HOPE works to increase incentives and reduce barriers for school attendance. Building a solid foundation in basic education is critical for the future of these children. Alongside the Fabretto Children's Foundation, Nica HOPE programs currently work to support both the public Centro Escolar Público Elemental Acahualinca located right outside the main entrance to the garbage dump and the private Colegio Cristiana La Esperanza school located inside the dump.
The largest component of these joint efforts is the lunch program at the main public primary school serving the community of La Chureca that provides a daily lunch to over 700 students, working to attract more students to school and improve health and education outcomes in the community. The feeding center operates with funding provided by Austin Samarians and the Tin Roof Foundation, along with in-kind food donations from Cross International, USAID, and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education.
3) The Nica HOPE Computer Training Center. This center currently has over 200 students learning basic computer skills, Microsoft Office, and internet navigation, opening the minds of these students to a world beyond their front doors, while improving education and future job opportunities. The large majority of formal sector jobs in the capital city where these students live require at least some level of computer skills. Program graduates will be certified in their skill area, and given assistance in securing job placements or further education upon graduation from the program. Younger students are learning basic computer skills and strengthening their reading, math, and critical thinking skills through educational computer programs. If you are interested in learning more about sponsoring a child in Nica HOPE´s computer program, click here: Nica HOPE Child Sponsorship
4) Nica HOPE Vocational Outreach Program. Nica HOPE is providing opportunities for training of students in vocational programs to equip students with real skills and opportunities for future jobs and a life apart from the trash. Current programs include jewelry-making and scholarships in auto-mechanics, sewing, cooking, and accounting.
The jewelry-making program currently has 11 classes that meet throughout the week, making a variety of types of jewelry. The youth take classes for 4 hours a week to learn how to make jewelry, and practice their newly-acquired skills. In addition to developing their creativity and providing alternative activity to working in the trash, this program serves as a means of income-generation for the youth. Each youth receives a portion of the profit for each item he or she makes that is sold and will earn more as their skills improve. The program is also teaching the students about the business fundamentals of jewelry-making, so that each program graduate will have the capability to start his or her own mini beading-business to earn a living apart from the trash.
Education and job training opportunities is exactly what the people of La Chureca have been needing and asking for. It doesn’t take much to make a difference here and help provide the opportunities to open doors in these lives. Please consider making a donation to help fund these projects!