As you did it to one of the least of these….
You did it to me.
Project Name: Children's Home Sweet Home
- Project Location
- Introduction and Context of Project
- Overall Objective
- Project Justification
- Project Description
- Plan Proposal
- Project Sustainability
- Projected Budget
Beneficiaries: Orphans and Abandoned Children in the Pearl Lagoon Basin
Location of Homes: Pearl Lagoon, RAAS
Project Phase 1: 2010-2011 Legalization, Fundraising, and Construction Preparation.
Financial Source: Children's Home Sweet Home Organization.
About the Project:
Introduction and Context
The purpose of the Children's Home Sweet Home project is to give hope to orphans and abandoned and abused children of the Pearl Lagoon Basin region of Nicaragua. With this initiative, we hope to break the cycle of despair and poverty, by providing needy children with a stable environment where basic needs for education, spiritual growth and social skills are met. They can become respected citizens of tomorrow through education, spiritual training, and emotional nurturing.
Pearl Lagoon is home to five of the six ethnic groups that inhabit the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Its communities are multicultural, multilingual, and multiethnic.
Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America. It is also a country with two histories. On the Pacific side of the country, they experienced Spanish colonialism, while on the Caribbean side of the country, they were colonized by the British. The Caribbean coast represents 49.5% of the national territory and is divided into two political-administrative regions: the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (NAAR) and the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (SAAR). Today the country is known to be multicultural and multilingual, according to the political constitution. However, multiculturalism and multilingualism is basically felt on this side of the country, where the diverse ethnic groups live. The three indigenous groups are the Miskitos, the Mayagnas, and the Ramos, while the Creoles and Garifunas are Black African descendants.
This country has some of the most complete laws to protect women and children. At the same time, the political constitution recognizes the multi-ethnic reality of the country, and recognizes the autonomy of the Caribbean coast, the region that is multi-ethnic. (However, the daily experience of exercising equal rights and opportunities tells us a different story). Most of these laws have not been put into practice because the country does not have the economic or social basis to comply with the requirements of the laws. This reality forces women, especially in Nicaragua, to make extraordinary efforts to get them to work. If these laws were functional, the reality of women and children today would be different.
The RAAS account shows 47.3% of women are single parents, with no existing child support, no social welfare, the lack of job opportunities, and very little access to primary education for their children. It's a challenge! The problem becomes more complex taking into consideration the dispersed population, the lack of roads, and a curricula not adapted to the characteristics of the autonomous regions. Unbelievably, 80.3% of Nicaraguans affected by poverty live the rural areas.
A project like Children's Home Sweet Home in this environment would be a blessing to grant all children from indigenous, Afro-descendant and Spanish cultural heritage, a unique spot for their development as honorable citizens and a wonderful way for us to give back some kindnesses that were handed down to us as children.
To establish an efficient functioning nonprofit project for needy children in the Pearl Lagoon Basin. The project will provide a Christian education and stable family environment, emotional stability and basic material needs, to benefit children from this municipality and surrounding municipalities.
The Nicaraguan inhabitants live in 48% of the whole territory, which is a demographic limitation, as people live mostly dispersed in the rural areas, with no access to basic needs: running water, health care, school education, and other. In the Pearl Lagoon area where each of the ethnic's communities is separated by water, there are no apparent governmental institutions for security and guidance as in the rest of the country. This contributes to a high rate of violence against women and children.
In general terms, the whole Caribbean Coast is largely affected by conditions of extreme poverty, influencing the low standard of living. Families live in precarious physical conditions, some in overcrowded homes. In some cases two or more families live in the same house, with each family consisting of five or six persons. The majority are children.
In the region, basic services add serious limitations to the whole situation. Figures show that around 41 % of homes have electricity. Regarding drinking water, only homes in the regional capitals (Bilwi and Bluefields) have running water, which may not be of high quality. The remainder of the population obtains water from rivers, streams, wells, and rainfall. This affects health in a direct way: hygiene, sanitary and environmental conditions are below an acceptable level.
Education Seen In the RAAS
The levels of education and school attendance also represent a challenge, due to the high percentage of illiteracy and the low levels of school attendance and schooling. On this side of the country, the dropouts occur mostly between first and fourth grade students. On the other hand, curricula not adapted to the characteristics and needs (language and culture) of the autonomous regions and self - taught teachers, result in a less attractive environment for students. The problem becomes more complex, taking into consideration the disperse population in the Pearl Lagoon area, the limitation of classrooms for the population of students in the surrounding community of Pearl Lagoon, and non-existing programs for orphans and children in need. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report on human development on the Atlantic Coast, the low attendance at school is related to migration, agricultural cycle productive systems, and other factors.
This project, however, considers the importance of coordination and alliances with governmental institutions at a regional level, such as: FONIF, Mi Familia, Programa Amor etc. that works with children in need. Most often the lack of economical resources does not permit these structures to reach the isolated communities. All actions of Children's Home Sweet Home will be done with due respect and in accordance with the law 623 (Ley de Responsabilidad Paterna y Materna), the Ministry of Family, Law 230 (on violence against women and children in the country) and other institutions that function for the well being of children.
Poverty Rate 80.3% in the Rural Areas
A Nicaraguan Consultant in 2008 wrote a Pre-Identification Report and recommended that the need for water-sanitation, electricity, education, health, and food, are immediate needs to guarantee the welfare of indigenous and Afro-descendants of rural areas.
Population growth in RAAS in 2008 was 4.9%. It is important to mention that 22% of the population in this region is under 6 years of age. 35% of women in the RAAS give birth before reaching 15 years.
This region has among the highest rates of maternal mortality and infant mortality in Nicaragua, because of difficulty in transportation, lack of communication and poor health care. Most transportation is by boat, horse or on foot. The nearest hospital is in Bluefields, a two day boat trip.
The Ministry of Health (MINSA) recorded over 70% of maternal deaths occur in rural areas. One out of every three women that die is adolescent, not taking into account the unreported births and deaths in rural areas.
Regarding other social factors to be considered with the population's living conditions, are means of communications, unemployment, migration and remittances, gender issue and drug trafficking, which will help us to understand the urgent necessity to find local Christian, self sustainable ways of contributing to the solution of this difficult situation.
Children's Home Sweet Home is a challenge for our organizations and communities surrounding the proposed site, where the homes will be constructed housing orphans and abandoned children living below poverty level. It is a new Seven Days Adventist, Christian oriented choice for those who wish to share their time, patience, and kindness.
Children's Home Sweet Home has its origin in our own initiative, from our own experience as children, who have seen all faces of poverty in this area. Life has given us this opportunity to give back and share our support for little ones with less, both materially and spiritually.
CHSH will provide clothing, food, home, education, healthcare, teaching of self respect, and respecting each other. Through daily devotion of our committed resident staff, we hope to share Jesus's teachings. We will endeavor to assure that these children's basic needs are met, by providing a permanent and stable home.
Women are CHSH's second target group. It will be a priority to involve women, parents, community leaders, church leaders and volunteers in all steps of our project. This will help us guarantee guidance and leadership as a strong counterpart to the Board of Directors.
Additional fund raising activities will continue. Good management planning will ensure that this organization is established, with all the necessary conditions present that lead to the attainment of the objectives through proper utilization of its resources.
Close coordination will be kept with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. Mi Familia will coordinate the legal and selective part for children coming into the homes.
Christian missionaries will always be part of CHSH: a permanent staff will run the project according to the project By-Laws. However, we may strongly encourage training and special support to staff, that may provide them with necessary skills and knowledge, so that they can become competent and competitive in their duties, especially on the basis of ethnic and cultural stability of these little ones.
This plan can be viewed as a pipeline where activities such as organizing, fund raising, construction and training precede the production activities (school functioning) that follow in subsequent years. The activity to be undertaken in 2010-2011 consists of: legalization of the organization as our priority; fund raising; project budget for construction; general preparation and coordinations to be made with construction team and local governmental institutions. These alliances will allow synergy: facilitating construction and necessary coordination for Home Sweet Home to become a reality.
In preparation of the project budget, several options were explored to combine effort or coordinations that will lower the cost of construction and transportation proportionally. Among these, we looked at prices of construction services and recommended material and equipment were quoted in Managua and Pearl Lagoon, to find the most economic means.
However, locals will be the possible builders together with Missionaries and locals. Also, we will undertake the possibility of products that can be shipped from the USA ( as donations will occur.)
The Overall Buildings Consist Of:
- One Home for Boys and one Home for Girls of 4,800 square feet, each 40x60 ft. Each of two floors, capacity for 90 children with a house parent.
- School, 3,120 sqf.
- Church, 2,210 sqf.
- Kitchen 1,200 sqf.
- Storage 1000 sqf.
- Missionary home, three of 1000 square feet for Missionaries.
- Pastor's home, 800 square feet.
- Onsite facilities for Maintenance, Guards (24 hrs), Nurse, Psychologist,
- and other staff members.
- Wellness Center.
A preliminary overall estimated project cost budget $ (?)
We are a 501 (c) (3) Tax exempt in the US, Non Profit Organization, that functions on the basis of requests for donations and grants through Christian missions.
The location of the project is a privilege. The space around this project will provide agriculture possibilities for vegetables, fruits, grains, herds of cattle and goats, and raising chickens. All contributes to a self sufficient project.
We hope to provide solar or wind turbine for electricity purposes, to protect the environment and keep the cost to a minimum. We will need to drill wells for a self supply of water.
We shall never forget the generosity of Mother Nature to us, we who lived so free and enjoyed every bit of Nature in our surroundings. Therefore, in respect to that, one of our major priorities will be to protect and respect nature around the project site, promote and be an example of an environmental friendly project, from which in the near future (5 years), will be our source of sustainability.
Your prayers and financial support are urgently needed to help provide for this vulnerable population. Together with Children's Home Sweet Home, you can make a difference. Get involved and help a child in need!
Thank you very much for your consideration toward this most worthy project.
"Around 40 years ago, a very brave woman, mother of nine, would often say: There MUST always be an extra plate of food, if someone comes around," though there was scarcely enough for her own nine hungry kids".
URGENT FINANCIAL NEEDS:
- Used or new 4-door, 4x4 pickup truck, approximate cost $12,000 U.S.
- Residences for children 40x60, approximate cost $80,000 U.S. each
- Construction costs to complete road, approximate cost $10,000 U.S.
Volunteers (Short-term or long-term)
- Short-term: Help build Children's Home Sweet Home: construct children's residences, activity center, missionary/volunteer housing; prepare fields and plant crops; build livestock pens; complete road.
- Long-term: Help operate the orphanage and school
Contact us to get involved!