Wisconsin Nicaragua Partnership
Institutional linkages and affiliations are critical assets to Partnership activities. W/NP has enjoyed a mutually beneficial fluid relationship with the Wisconsin National Guard for many years, and more recently with the WNG State Partnership program. In late June of this year, the Managua office hosted five WI National Guard members. The purpose of the delegation's visit, coordinated by Kathrine Berberich, US Army Bilateral Affairs Officer, was to learn more about the projects of W/NP in Nicaragua. Katie understands the value of collaboration and commented, "I just can't stop thinking about how little things make a big difference. I am from Wisconsin and it is within my reach to do something small to make a big difference." We very much appreciate their interest and especially taking time to learn about the many W/NP projects that produce significant impacts as a result of volunteers from WI and Nicaragua working together.
The Merida/Ometepe Learning Center (LC) started to function in 2012, a group of around 10 women started learning basic sewing and now they receive other classes such as jewelry and knitting. Around 50 women from the community have benefited from the classes being taught at the center. The LC was really needed in the community so the women could learn a skill and then be able to do something at home to earn some incomes for their families. Things at the LC have been going very well. The women are very motivated and keep moving forward with the classes. The LC is in the process of building a small store where they can sell and exhibit their products and rent bikes to foreigners visiting the community.
Just recently in the month of June, the school in Merida held an event to recognize an outstanding teacher and student. Around 200 hundred people attended this significant event including teachers and students. The event focused on the value of good education and the best teacher and best student of the entire island were selected and recognized. To their delight, Merida won the two recognition's, and they were very happy for the accomplishment. We look forward to seeing the store finished and see the women succeed in their lives. Special thanks to Bill Davidson & Jana Radtke, the Grace Lutheran Church and all other donors who have helped make the dreams of these women come true!
The Sherin Bowen Library received a donation of 20 spanish books from Pershing school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Alissa Christopher (in blue shirt), Spanish teacher at the school contacted WNP for this donation. Thank you to all the students from Pershing school for taking the time to make these books for the children of Nicaragua. The children here were very excited about reading those new books and today they loaned them all out.
W/NP has been receiving and shipping bicycles from Wisconsin to Nicaragua for many years, and an official W/NP Bicycle Project took shape in 2009 when the Stanley Street Bicycle Project closed down. For three years now, we have experienced growing success after starting an official "Bicycle Project" facilitated by Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners, the W/NP Learning Center network, individual volunteers and many other donors of bicycles and various items needed.
For more information on the bicycle project, click here.
Taylor County’s, Liberty 4-H Club members and families collected new and gently used school supplies from Abbotsford, Colby and Medford Schools, as well as Trinity Lutheran School in Athens. Members organized the materials and then transferred the boxes to Arlen Albrecht, a representative of the Wisconsin - Nicaragua Partnership. Items are headed to Stevens Point for final packing before going to Nicaragua. Thank you to students and staff members for contributions toward this project!
The mission of W/NP is simple and effective. We help people in Nicaragua improve their quality of life in practical sustainable ways. By working with local community leaders at their request, W/NP has established over 50 learning centers throughout Nicaragua. The Learning Centers offer classes which lead to personal and professional growth and development, this opens doors that help provide meaningful income while allowing them to still remain in their communities to care for their families.
To learn more, click here.
In addition to the variety of classes taking place at the Managua Office, volunteers are always busy making new items for sale. In these photos, they are sharing creations of placemats, beautiful table runners, bracelets, pillow cases and pillows. Their quality and workmanship is excellent, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information or to place an order - a volunteer going down in July that could bring back your order. Thanks everyone for supporting the Learning Center Project!
McDonalds donates furniture for Nicaragua prior to pending demolition as a gesture of humanitarian support. W/NP volunteers remove fixtures for shipment to Nicaragua the following morning after the restaurant closed. The Division Street McDonald’s in Stevens Point was demolished May 16th, 2012 to make way for a new facility adjacent to the present site. Years ago Burger King made a similar donation upon closure and the seats are currently being used in W/NP Learning Centers, Lending Libraries and homes of people who are most appreciative of Wisconsin’s compassionate effort to help others in need. Today, June 24th we are posting photos of where the donated items are currently being used in Nicaragua - thanks again to all who helped make this possible.
Mayra Mendoza has worked as a WNP volunteer training women and young ladies since 1998 and is the coordinator for the Learning Center in Buenos Aires. In 2005 she presented at the Wisconsin Women Care II Conference in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Her Presentation topic: How Mayra and her community make small plots yield nutrition, hope and happiness. She along with eleven other women from Nicaragua shared their stories about making a difference in their home communities. They have recently started a new sewing class for women’s clothing and are in need of a serger and more chairs. Other activities include the lending library, kitchen gardens, baking, and carpentry. Especially of significance is the drip irrigation system developed through the assistance of W/NP Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Arlen Albrecht. Mayra proudly exhibits a successful and productive Learning Center. She recognizes the need to disseminate information to others who can also benefit from learning new methods and skills. In 2010 & 2012 Mayra hosted and organized home stays in her community for the 2 UWSP student groups; Family Life Trek in 2010 and Food, Community and Ecology in 2012.