We’re excited to share project updates with you below, reporting on the three (yes, three!) projects currently underway, a record for Project Schoolhouse. I’m grateful to our team on the ground in Nicaragua who are really shining as they juggle all of the logistical and motivational challenges inherent in working in remote communities on projects built primarily by volunteer labor. I’m also grateful to Rotary International, the West Austin Rotary Club, and The Burdine Johnson, Still Water, Love, Tito’s and AMB Foundations for investing in these projects. By the end of the year, we will have collaborated to deliver clean water to two communities and built a new school at a third!
The two intrepid interns who were in Nicaragua at the beginning of the year are back in the US and sharing inspiring stories of their experiences, captured in the recap interview below. One fact we continue to see is that even after clean water and school projects are finished and are no longer obstacles to education, there is still a dropoff in the number of children in 4-6th grades, many less than started in the lower grades. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we might support communities to improve retention and graduation rates. To explore this area, we’ve initiated a pilot project in one community to listen to the challenges. We heard from the teacher that it is a challenge to single-handedly teach to a classroom of 40 children from first through sixth grade. Children get behind on their studies and there is no time to work with them individually. We’re seeing encouraging initial reports from Norma, our Programs Coordinator, and we wanted to share with you all one of those reports and the concept of the After-School Club. Have a read below and if you’re interested in discussing or learning more, please join us at one of our upcoming Crash Course info sessions. Details and RSVP links here!
We’ve been following the recent, oftentimes heartbreaking US border immigration news. One area we’ve been wanting to explore further are the root causes of migration, as we believe the infrastructure projects made possible by your investment in Project Schoolhouse tackles some of the first development needs that mitigate the need to migrate. To this aim, we are hosting a panel discussion of experts in this field and we invite you to join the conversation, July 22nd at 6 pm central time. You’ll hear from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), an investigative journalist with the Texas Tribune and a professor at the University of Texas at Austin who studies the topic of root causes of migration. We hope you’ll join the conversation. Details and RSVP here!
None of this work would be possible without your support. To that end, we’re excited to announce Cien Amigos 2021, November 11, with both live, in-person in Austin, Texas AND virtual attendance options! This is our only fundraiser of the year and your help is crucial. For details on hosting a table or becoming an event sponsor, please see our website.
With gratitude and hope to see you soon!