Annual Report for 2015

Submitted by admin on Fri, 06/03/2016 - 15:28

Annual Report for 2015

2015 was an exceptionally busy year for the foundation and its sister organization the Christine King Multi Service Cooperative. As in previous years our core programmes were secondary education for low income adult women students, music education for children from low income families, our preventive health care programme, our programme addressing violence against women and our various skills training activities.

Among the other activities we have maintained over many years we also hosted an important medical delegation and continued the teacher training work we have carried out for over ten years now focusing on primary school teachers in rural areas.

In addition, in 2015 we were able to work with various faculties of Boston University to facilitate visits and programs to promote local community health. None of this work would be possible without the long standing support of our many friends in the United States, Europe and, too, in Japan.

To everyone who helped us through 2015 we are very grateful. We know from the feedback we get that the results of everyone's support and hard work are also much appreciated by the people in the communities we serve here in Nicaragua.

 

bob beatrix students

Bob and Beatrix Barr with students from their scholarship program
at the Escuela Normal in Estelí

daysi

Daysi Flores

We were all very saddened by the death of two great friends, Bob Barr and Daysi Flores, who in different ways made indispensable contributions to the development of the community projects we have carried out in Estelí and other parts of Nicaragua over the last 17 years.

Sones Segovianos

sones segovianos
Hannah Curteis with students

The Music and Dance Education program has various components.  Through 2015 the music education program in Esteli, Sones Segovianos, had 42 students aged from 6 to 15, This program teaches choral singing, music reading via the Suzuki method, individual instruments, guitar ensemble and orchestral playing. Students learn both classical music and traditional Nicaraguan music.

The dance classes in Estelí have 29 students aged 4 to 15. The music program which we support in the small town of Palacagüina about an hour's drive north of Estelí has 15 students aged 6 to 12. Three times a month one of the music educators from Estelí visits the group in Palacagüina to assist the local music teacher there.

About every two months the program organizes a public concert for the students to perform what they have learned. The program is supervised by Nicaragua's Institute of Culture. It is the only program providing  this mixture of group and individual music and dance education to children from low income families in Estelí. The program coordinates its program of activities with the Institute of Culture and with the cultural activities program of the local municipal authority.

Addressing domestic violence
This program comprises outreach work in local communities, legal advice, counseling, refuge for victims and close liaison with the local authorities. The outreach work consists of educational workshops and self-help groups in 11 rural communities around the city of Estelí. In 2015 the program team carried out 34 meetings and workshop activities in those 11 communities.

Over the year, the program psychologist worked with 32 women and children giving psychological attention and counseling. The program's lawyer assisted over 30 cases requiring legal advice and support. The refuge cared for 29 people victims of abuse over the year including women, adolescents and children.

ices
Participants in workshop on conflict resolution

In addition to the women and children receiving counseling and legal advice, the program workers also followed up the cases of the women and children sheltered by the program once they left the refuge.

Also in addition to the above casework, the program workers followed up in coordination with the local health center 12 patients referred to them by the annual medical delegation organized by Dr. Peter Loewinthan in coordination with the local Ministry of Health.

In July and August, the program organized a series of five all-day workshops together with the local campus of the National Autonomous University, the Ministry of the Family and the Ministry of Health for a total of over 20 workers in those institutions to improve their skills in family conflict management.

Program workers regularly participate in activities in conjunction with local delegations of government ministries, the local judicial authority and public prosecutor's office.

Secondary Education - Estelí Women's School

ciscum
Teacher Gustavo Sanabria with night class students

The secondary education program assisted 64 low income women students in 2015. The students received just under three hours of class three nights a week, as well additional tutoring during the weeks prior to centrally supervised examinations at the end of each semester.

The program guarantees these women students transport home to their barrios each night they attend class. Our students also receive medical and counseling support and have the option of taking computer classes held on Thursdays and Saturdays.

This year we had unexpected staff difficulties due to erratic attendance by our teachers of English and Mathematics for our second level classes. We had to replace the English teacher and temporarily substitute the Mathematics teacher. So our students did not do as well as usual in those subjects while maintaining their high pass rates in the remaining subjects. 78% of our first level students passed the November exams and 66% of our second level students passed thus achieving their baccalaureate.

Like the other education centers participating in the Adult Baccalaureate we are lobbying the Ministry of Education to ask them to include more input from our students' teachers in the application of the Ministry's rules. In summary, our exam results in the end of year examination cycle were as follows:

First Level Students

No. of Students

Pass

Fail

No show

Social Sciences

38

30

8

-

Spanish Language and Literature

38

31

7

-

Natural Sciences

38

33

2

3

English

38

28

7

3

Mathematics

38

29

6

3

 

 

 

 

 

Second Level Students

No. of Students

Pass

Fail

No show

Social Sciences

26

21

2

3

Spanish Language and Literature

26

21

3

2

Biochemistry

26

15

4

7

English

26

16

8

2

Mathematics

26

18

5

3

Physics

26

14

10

2


Preschool

edelma
Pre-school educator Edelma Acuña with her students

The preschool program that we support on the western outskirts of Estelí  is located in a district of low income families with a high incidence of single mothers and where many adult women are at work all day.

In 2015, the program taught and cared for 46 students throughout the year aged from three years old to six years old.

The program has two qualified pre-school educators and a teaching assistant as well as an assistant to help with cooking. Depending on attendance, between 21 and 26 children receive care until lunchtime, while 15 to 20 children receive care all day. The program provides breakfast and lunch as well as a morning and afternoon snack. The educators are supervised by Nicaragua's Ministry of Education and follow the Ministry's curriculum to prepare the children for primary school.

Health care
In 2015, the health program carried out the following activities :

medical brigade
The medical delegation at work in a rural health post
  • 48 workshops on preventive health as part of the program of the Estelí Women's School with between 50 and 60 women participants in each workshop;
  • counseling and pyschological support to fifteen women students of the Estelí Women's School;
  • weekly attention by a woman doctor in close coordination with the local health center to 208 patients from among the students of the Estelí Women's School and also carrying out 22 papanicolau exams;
  • weekly monitoring of on average 10-12 patients with chronic illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes;
  • offering medicines at cost price to patients among our community program participants;
  • purchasing medicines for patients who cannot afford to pay for them (on average 6-8 patients per month);
  • paying for laboratory tests for patients unable to afford them (on average 2 patients a month);
  • monthly preventive health activities in local communities for a total of over 350 children aged 6 to 12;
  • coordinating with the local health center follow up with patients seen by the annual medical delegation (this usually lasts for a period of three months and usually involves up to two hundred patients).

Social Work and training activities

sewing
Educator Aura Lila with her Saturday sewing students

This program works very closely with our other programs, for example by sharing transport costs on visits out to local communities around Estelí, or providing costumes for the dance program, or ensuring illumination from our solar panels during occasional nocturnal power cuts.

In 2015 the sewing workshop trained a total of 45 women in weekly Saturday classes.The solar panel  workshop trained 80 people in 8 trainings over the year.

The secondary education training team trained 50 rural primary school teachers in two week-long workshops in the northern Nueva Segovia Departament.

The ceramic workshop trained a total of 15 women and adolescent girls, ten of whom were people staying in the women's shelter who benefited from the activity as occupational therapy. Another 20 women and adolescents learned craft skills over the year.

This program also runs the foundation's hardship fund which this year helped financially and materially a total of 36 people who had needs they could not otherwise have met.

For example:

  • costs of travelling to Managua for a medical appointment;
  • overnight accommodation for low income patients from remote rural areas with medical appointments in Estelí or the nearby hospital at La Trinidad;
  • families needing help with roofing materials during heavy rains;
  • food, clothing and shoes for impoverished families in need.

Developing institutional relations
A key factor that enables the foundation to get the most out of available resources is the institutional relationship we have built up over the last seventeen years with the Health Ministry, the Education Ministry, the Ministry of the Family, the Institute of Culture, the local Police and the local municipal authority. The positive relationship of cooperation the foundation has with these institutions have greatly facilitated our community work.

lisa, rachel, melissa,kirby
Post-graduate students from Boston, Lisa, Melissa, Rachel and Kirby

Those relationships have made it possible for us to organize very successful visits by students from Boston University's School of Public Health and School of Dental Medicine as well as the participation of students from Boston University's School of Medicine in the annual medical brigade organized by Dr. Peter Loewinthan.

In 2015 we hosted four students from Boston University on a research project for their Masters degree analyzing the effects of agrochemical use on the health of local people in a rural area near Estelí. We also hosted a group from Boston University's School of Dental Medicine who in November began implementing a five year preventive dental health program involving over 800 children in Estelí.

The knock-on effects of these visits are difficult to evaluate but include, for example, creating the incentive for local university students to follow up the Boston University students' environmental health research and prompting Nicaragua's health ministry to evaluate the effectiveness of its dental preventive health work.

The prestige accumulated by our foundation's health and education work over the last seventeen years has been indispensable in helping us get the most out of our resources by developing close relationships with the relevant institutions in Nicaragua both locally and nationally.

This is a direct and extremely positive result, impossible to evaluate in cash terms, of the consistent funding we have received over all this time from all our many friends and supporters to whom we expess our most sincere thanks and appreciation.

Income and expenditure 2015


US$
Brought forward from 2014 23666


Donated income
Barr Foundation 7025
Central American Fund for Human Development 59400
Christine King Memorial Trust 13114
Dorchester House Multi Service Center 46639
Evanston First Congregational Church 500
Global Education Fund 7029
Hope Little 500
Japan Help for Nicaragua Association 800
Peter Loewinthan and friends 59548
Proyectos Sociales Albanisa 9600
Various individual donations 3366


Local contributions 1876


Bank interests 415


Total income 233478


Expenditures
Computer skills program 11636
Health Care 18292
Social work/family violence program 18283
Music Education 17762
Preschools 6196
Skills training 24487
Women's secondary education 18201
Ayuda humanitaria 3109


Administration 29960
Site maintenance/remodelling 25209


Medical delegation 13561
Teacher trainings 6204


Bank commissions and charges 798


Total expenditure 193698


Carried forward to 2016 39780