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Expansion of Sanitary Project Stage 2

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 The sanitary project at Rafaela Herrera is progressing well, so materials have now been purchased for one of the satellite schools Sintiope, just a couple of miles down the road.  Further work will take place at Las Pilas and Tilgue as funds become available.  Some small repairs have been undertaken at these schools both during last year's visit with the help of my Canadian friend Patrick and during the year, by local people.  Due to Covid costs of materials are rising, so we are trying to get ahead of the game as far as possible.

Sanitary Project continues

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 The sanitary project was halted by the hurricane and rains, which washed earth back into the holes that had been laboriously dug. After that various people working on the project contracted Covid and were unable to work for several weeks due to the debilitating effects. They only had their home remedies to fall back on.   During the first week of January work recommenced with Pedro Antonio, marvin an Mateo once more diffing holes fo the new latrines. A minor but necessary repair has also been made on a gate at Tilgue School.

Christmas 2020

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 Despite the challenges of the year, the schools still set out to celebrate with the children on a festive theme.  All the schools had celebrations with some presentations, parades, piƱatas, prizes and refreshments on the last day of term. We were also able to purchase further supplies for the families affected by the hurricane to enable them to enjoy their Christmas in a simple manner.

Hurricane Eta-disaster strikes Ometepe!

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 On 3rd November I received the news that a hurricane was on its way and that already there were strong winds and rain.  Next the power lines were lost.  On 4th November parts of the Caribbean coast were evacuated as a national disaster struck.  I hoped that Ometepe being more centrally located and in the lake would be protected.  But no. Later that day came the news that crops had been flattened, the roads were like rivers and poorer homes had been badly damaged.  Everyone was in a state of shock.  Marvin's comment was that he preferred the plants to be killed than the people!  But it is their livelihood and their food. The poorest people live in makeshift homes of wood, plastic, sometimes a bit of tin on the roof, and many of these had blown apart or had water run straight through them. I want to offer sincere thanks to those who responded to my Facebook appeal and within 24 hours had provided funds for immediate help.  Marvin set about gathering food for these families which was

The Sanitary Project

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 When I was in Ometepe earlier in the year we identified the water and sanitary facilities as in need of overhaul and improvement in several of the schools. Because of current challenges, we have been unable to obtain a grant or raise the full cost.  However having paid for school uniforms and set aside the cost of the university courses as promised. it seemed best to use funds to make a start on the project.  We have therefore now sent $1200 to begin improving the facilities at the Rafaela Herrera primary school.  The materials ae being collected and work on digging new latrines has begun.  Some repairs to the tank and plumbing were undertaken in February and more of this work can now be addressed. Bill from builders' merchant Digging the latrines, all done manually!  Some paid labour is being used plus voluntary work from parents. Materials being collected ready! More photos will be posted when the work is completed, and we will then update the budget for the next school in need.

Uniforms and more!

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 At this time of year we start to organise the school uniforms for the new school year.  This is a long process of seeking out the poorest families in all eight schools according to their total numbers and gathering information on their ages, parents and family circumstances, to ensure we are addressing highest need. Marvin and his wife Sylvia have coordinated all this information and obtained the costings from the local shop. We are funding 98 uniforms/shoes this year.   We have allocated £1000 this year.  El Corozal asked for shoes from their part of the budget because some of the poorest families receive a donation of uniform from elsewhere or they are passed on to them. The children continue to receive incentives and rewards for their achievements, from the boxes of goods we send.  Here they are receiving sports bags, collected from the Rotary depot at Farnham, excess promotional materials, that were not needed.  As you can see they are very much appreciated on Ometepe.