SCSRN gives priority to projects that are designed and proposed by members of the San Ramón community, with the goal of meeting community-identified needs. Over the years we’ve had the pleasure to work with enthusiastic, hardworking local leaders that inspire and energize us! Below are a few examples of the local initiatives that we are currently supporting:
Improved Wood Stoves
The majority of people in rural Nicaragua cook over an open fire. This leads to illness from breathing in smoke and being exposed to high temperatures, as well as burns in children. It also is one of the principal causes of deforestation. This year we worked with a local organization called Fundación Denis Gonzalez Lopez to install 40 improved wood stoves in the homes of rural families. Each family was part of a year-long program in which they planted trees to use for their own firewood consumption and attended workshops on the division of labor in the family. The new stoves are completely insulated and ventilated, and use a fraction of the firewood that is needed for an open fire.
Sanitation in rural communities
Last year, SCSRN staff were invited to meet the Organized Women of Yasica Sur, or “UMOYS” for their initials in Spanish. Yasica Sur is the northern, wet zone of the municipality of San Ramón, and is the home of many, extremely remote communities. At the meeting, we shared a little about our organization and the types of projects we’ve supported in the past, and the women of UMOYS very quickly saw an area where we could support their most remote communities: latrine building. After the meeting, the women came up with two latrine designs, one for flood-prone communities and one for non-flood-prone communities. Then they listed their communities in order of priority, and requested that we support them in the purchase and delivery of the necessary building materials.
We ran a pilot project in the two top-priority communities: five latrines in El Cuyus, and five latrines in the flood-prone Las Delicias. SCSRN provided the materials to reinforce the hole and build the seat, and the families provided the labor and the covering for the latrine. The pilot was a complete success, so this year we are going to continue with a larger project. In El Cuyus we’re building 30 more latrines, and in Las Delicias, 10 more. If all goes to plan, we’ll be moving on to the next two communities on the UMOYS priority list: San Martin and La Lima.
Los Pipitos San Ramón
Los Pipitos San Ramón is part of a national network of free clinics providing care from trained physical therapists and early intervention educators to children with physical and intellectual disabilities. Treatment interventions of this type are badly needed, as indicated in the Foundation for Sustainable Development’s report, “Nicaragua: A Development Overview,” which finds that only about 5% of Nicaraguan children with disabilities are able to receive appropriate services through the school system.
The San Ramón clinic is committed to this principle, and since most of its patients’ families are unable to pay, SCSRN has been a committed partner for the clinic since 2005, providing annual support for clinician salaries and other basic needs. The clinic employs a licensed physical therapist and an early intervention teacher, serving over 90 children every week. This year, in addition to our annual support, we funded a class in Nicaraguan Sign Language for deaf children and their families.
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