Education Plus could not operate without the dedication, sacrifice, and hard work of our Volunteers. Our spotlight this month shines on not one, but all of our very talented and very special current Vols.
We have quite a few Vols that are with us for several months, which gives the children a sense of continuity and security. It also gives the Vols an opportunity to develop relationships that will last a lifetime.
Our current Vols come from many different parts of the world including Belgium, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Nicaragua, and the US. They are all involved to do the grocery shopping, feeding, cleaning, teaching, counseling, tutoring, keeping track of attendance, home visits, event planning, accounting, and much, much more.
Because we are a small grass roots organization, it is very easy to add components to our program. If a Volunteer comes up
with an idea, we can try it out and see if it works.
That is the case with our new reading program which was conceived and implemented by Leonie and Inga, two of our Vols from Germany. The reading program appears to be on its way to great success. Leonie also came up with the idea of an Eco Day, where the students collected plastic waste from around the neighborhood and learned about recycling.
We also have an entire family from the US, the Walsh family from the Seattle area. Jerry, the father, has been a great help in the construction of our new latrine, Annissa, the mother, is a nurse and along with many other duties, takes care of any medical issues that the students may have.
Daughter Keeley, 18, is our “Executive Intern” as she wants to start her own educational and social project someday. Keeley is involved in many administrative duties and is wise beyond her years, with a work ethic that we are sure her parents are very
proud of. Younger daughter Erin, volunteers at the program when she is not in her own classes, helping with mealtime and keeping things clean and orderly. Not to forget little Dex, who has made friends with many of the younger students and is usually found playing games with them, despite the language barrier.
Sean, a recent high school graduate, also from the US, has become quite the teacher and is a great role model for our boys. He has a natural gift for communicating with the students on their level has been an all around big help with day to day operations.
Dissa, a native of Indonesia who has traveled the world and has a Master’s Degree in Accounting, has put her skills to good use by handling our accounting and finances. She has also volunteered to continue working with us remotely, via computer, after
she departs Nicaragua in late November.
Joyce, a wonderful Canadian woman with a huge heart and love for children, volunteers with us part time as she is involved with several organizations in Nicaragua. Joyce has supplied our students with dental supplies and shoes along with her smile and her gentle way with them.
Most recently, we have also added Luna from Belgium, and Laura-Ann, from Germany, who are still becoming acclimated to our program and to Nicaragua. They are both showing great potential and we are sure that their ideas, contributions, and work in the next several months will make a big difference in the lives of our students.
Next week, we welcome Karoline, also from Germany, to Education Plus. We will have to wait and see what talents and ideas she brings, but we are sure she will be a positive asset to Education Plus.
This tribute to our current Volunteers would not be complete without Valeria, whom we call our “Voluntaria Número Uno”. She is the 21 year old daughter of the family that most graciously gives us the use of their home to operate Education Plus. Valeria has been working with us for over a year and can be found helping to prepare meals, washing dishes, or reading with the children. Valeria is also attending English Classes in Granada, courtesy of one of our donors, and is scheduled to graduate from Computer School in December.
And of course, a special thank you to Monica and Jim, or fearless leaders who dedicate their time to making Education Plus run. Together, our Volunteers truly are an international family, one that is giving valuable time, effort, and most importantly, love, to the most impoverished, yet so very special, children of Nicaragua.
A Really, Really BIG THANK YOU to:
This post was written by Education Plus Development Director Jim Durham