Monday, April 7, 2014

Compassion in Nicaragua - a letter from a CDSP director

I recently received 5 letters from 5 different Compassion center directors around the world. As much as I love letters from my sponsored children and letters from pastors, these letters are a gold mine!

If you want to know how each Compassion project is run, then this type of letter will give you all that information. Each Monday for the next few weeks, I'll be sharing one of the letters I received.

I don't know for sure, but I would guess that most Compassion projects within a country operate in a similar fashion. So even if your child doesn't attend this particular project, chances are he or she experience a similar thing in their Compassion project. I know that it varies greatly from country to country, but within a country...probably not so much.

First up, a letter from Nicaragua...

NI-111  Mirra Olor Fragante Student Center

Dear Kevin and Jill,

My name is Maria Elena Sandoval Vega. I am the Project Director of the Mirra Child Development Center where your child Josseling attends. This project is located in Ciudad Sandino, Department of Managua, Nicaragua. Through this letter I want to thank you for your great support and sponsorship. May God bless you every day because of this.

Children attend the project in the afternoons. They begin with cleaning, praying and singing. Then the teachers use the Compassion curriculum to teach them in four areas of development: spiritual, socio-emotional, physical and educational. Then they receive a snack such as a drink with cookies or a nutritious meal. Teenagers (12 to 18 year olds) after receiving classes on Saturdays, come in the evening to received beauty and pastry making classes, and the boys receive barber classes which help them to be economically self-supporting. Some of them are putting into practice their skills and are receiving a small income that helps them in some of their needs.

Each month we celebrate the children's birthdays. They receive a gift and eat food such as friend chicken, fries and juice, they also participate in excursions to some parts of our country such as the Zoo and other towns. We celebrated Children's Day and Bible Day where all children from different ages march in the community. We train parents with psychologists who teach them about how they should communicate with their children and adolescents. Children receive medical check-ups every year and receive medicine if they need it. Besides this, they are attended to by a psychologist if they have problems.

Children who are 12 years and above fill out their My Plan for Tomorrow (MPT) workbook in order to plan their futures and set goals. Some children have started choosing their career for the future. The project monitors and evaluates the student's MPTs to ensure that they are moving close to that goal. Children are encouraged to study well so that they can score well on their exams and pursue their dreams.

I want to tell you that some children participated in a Complimentary Intervention (CIV) for entrepreneurship where the outstanding students received a gift in cash and bough a shaving machine and they are already using it to generate income. Another group of girls participated in beauty CIV where they received some materials such such as a hair iron, hair dryers and other materials to implement what they had learned.

The children at our project have good manners, avoid crime and are healthy. We have a library for public use and people of the community come when they need something. We have some teenagers who are already baptized and worship God at the church. They study and receive school supplies and some of them are at the university.

It is of great value when they receive sponsor letters because they are happy to know that someone who is far away loves them and writes to them. Besides when they write their sponsors they feel like they are writing their friends and want to tell them what happens in their homes and family. Please continue writing letters, they change the children's lives.

Please pray for four children whose mother passed away that God would give them strength because they are suffering. Please also pray for our children at the project and their families. Pray God's protection over us all.

Thank you again for your support and sponsorship. You are changing lives. May God bless you abundantly.

Sincerely, Maria Elena Sandoval-Vega

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