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:
School for Parents
Yelba Valenzuela, San Ramón resident and former director of Finca Esperanza Verde, has returned to San Ramón after having worked all over Nicaragua and abroad with various projects dedicated to education and sustainable tourism. SCSRN is very happy to be working with her on a project called “School for Parents.” School for Parents is a series of workshops for parents of children who attend rural primary schools. Among the topics that parents learn about are water management, sanitation, food security, and the parents’ role in family education. Drawing on her past experience, Yelba has designed dynamic activities that meet the challenges of adult education in rural communities, particularly the high levels of illiteracy.
Yelba is currently conducting these workshops in the communities of San Antonio de Upa, Mina Verde #2, Verapaz, Santa Ana, and San Jose – all communities that have been the beneficiaries of our solar panel project done in conjunction with United Solar Initiative. In financing Yelba’s workshops in these communities, we hope to motivate local leaders and ignite community solidarity so that they can make the most of these projects that have come their way.
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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