donderdag 1 september 2011

La Esperanza Granada NEWSLETTER - August 2011

Monthly news - August 2011 edition

Enjoy the latest photos of the new high school – we still don’t have a name yet – waiting for the Ministry of Education to decide. George Spencer School from Nottingham in the U.K. finished off the painting by doing the outside of the school and did a great job. They paid for all the materials, and took a group of children from the primary school to see Volcan Masaya. Thanks also to The Round Table of Nottingham who sent through a donation of $388 to be used for desks for the school.

Feels like we have been saying goodbye to volunteers all month, with very few new ones joining us, this is normal for August, but still sad to have the teachers and children asking when will there be more help. Those of you who haven’t been here as a volunteer may be interested to read some of their comments about their best moments on volunteer exit forms: Seeing the smiles on all of the children’s faces; When the kids learned something; One day after about three hours of unsuccessfully trying to help one of my kids read, he asked me if I would stay with him during lunch so he could practice more. I did and he greatly improved that day; the goodbye hugs from the children after my last class; when several children from my class stayed in from recess to play educational games with me. So much of what is gained happens in little steps and I know from our volunteers, those little steps are a joy to witness.

Volunteers here at the end of the month are Anka Verhoeven, Amy van Maarseveen, Leonie Fritz, Mary Pearce, Enrique Ascordebeitia, Pablo Alzola Domingo, Elia Mas Checa, Carole Laguerre, Ira Schiwek, Nicky Quan-Leach, Rafa Sanchez-Ferragut del Toro, Oriol Gonzalez Guijarro, Deborah Speck, Christa Scherrer, Diego Floris, Jonas Schmiechen, Heath Gabrysh, Anna Fink, Katrin Hiss and Alice Lucas.

We had several visitors this month, Bill and Linda Wayman who play a major role in the dental clinics where we take schoolchildren were down for a week with their mission group. They brought lots of crayons and pencils, and also a donation from New Orleans Kiwanis club of $250.

Joanne Palacino, teacher from PS153 in New York came down too, along two other New York teachers Carlos and Christina who were visiting their home country Guatamala. As well as the collections of funds that Joanne had instigated in her school, ($750) they brought three enormous bags of supplies for the children. All of the items focused on capturing children’s interest in learning and creativity. Can’t wait to see the children in action with some of these wonderful things.

Scott and Sara (Wentland) Smith spent part of their honeymoon in a very different way – they came and helped a local family improve their house – a new roof, a cooking shelter made from the leftovers, a new mattress, and some rice and beans with the remaining dollars. (they donated $600) The Reyes family ‘won’ the home renovation in a raffle we held at the school of Nueva Esperanza, with children who had perfect attendance getting a free raffle ticket. To us it was doubly rewarding. There are three children in the family, with Jose the eldest in second grade. Jose is one of the children who would not be attending school at all had we not been able to build the school at San Ignacio. (The two younger are not school age)

Volunteer Anka has given us $4000, money she raised at a Spaghetti Fest in Belgium, we are using part of these funds to furnish classrooms in four schools specifically to be used for computer classes. We have bought 120 chairs and will have 20 tables made with space for six children each. We will install electrical outlets so that the computers can be connected (at present we charge them in our office, and they only last for a couple of hours) and will be able to extend the use of the computers to other grades in those schools.

Leslie Hunter and Tom O’shea from the Irish bar each put in $80 to pay for one more net book computer. Leslie, a teacher from Canada saw first hand the children benefit from the computer classes and put it at the top of her list of priorities for us.

Philip and Helen Roy visited their daughter Anwen, one of our volunteers and brought us a $200 donation too. Ray Davies sent through $20 and Karin van Eijk sent through $141. Mark Turner arrived back this month, bringing with him 20 computer mice, and two big bags of school uniforms. He also brought rain capes for all of our ayudantes. Volunteers Marisol, Eva and Elena brought lots of children’s games and clothes too.

Here’s the photo link for this month – as you will see from the pics, it has been a lot of fun.
Best regards, from all of us at La Esperanza Granada,