“There is a school opening up in my house” 8-year old Prisila Castillo cried running from house to house telling all her friends and neighbors. On the afternoon of November 12, 2012, 40 of Prisila’s friends, cousins and their siblings showed up at her house to receive classes from 3 volunteers. Huddled over small plastic tables, Education Plus Nicaragua was formally established as an after school program.
For over a year and a half, we taught classes and provided meals from Prisila’s home every day of the week. Prisila’s mother and aunt would wake up at 5am to start cooking for the children, and while the bedrooms of this small house overflowed with supplies and boxes of rice donated by Samaritan’s International, the family never complained. Prisila even wrote us a letter once saying, “Thank you for making a school in my house.”
Education Plus Today
In June 2014, our community center Casa de los Sueños (CDLS) opened to the joy of nearly 200 children and their parents. Here we provide food, education, and activities in order to eliminate malnutrition, instill core values, and give them the resources they need to rise above their impoverished circumstances. We offer our children a safe haven that keeps them off the streets, and exciting opportunities that keep them into education. In a country with the highest primary school dropout rate in Central America, our students believe that going to university is within their reach. Not only that, the children arrive to our program overjoyed to be there. Instead of hunger, what these children – the “forgotten children” – now have, is hope.