2018 achievements and plans
Kids and Kayaks
This organisation was born out of Jose Antonio's dream and the friendship we developed after he was my guide in Ometepe in 2015 and 2016. I obtained his services through Vapues Tours in 2015 and sought his expertise again in 2016 because he had been so helpful. He taught me about the life of the local people. Across the Atlantic ocean plans were formed through our shared passion to improve the lives of children in Urbaite and Santa Teresa on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. This became Kids and Kayaks ( and later The Forgotten Children of the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes), a charity to improve the lives of local children's education and welfare. It is led by José Antonio Ruiz Hernandez in Nicaragua and Carolyn Susan Gibbs in England.
In January 2018 I arrived with around £3000 donated by friends, family and local organisations. I brought a case of equipment and further equipment came in the containers of Peace and Hope, a registered charity also working in Nicaragua. Together Jose and I spent four weeks purchasing and distributing school uniforms, football kit and school equipment to the Rafael Herrera primary School and local children, with the help of the deputy headteacher Amada Griselda Cruz Barrios.
I also worked with the children undertaking sewing and painting activities and learning a few words of English.
These activities showed the children were quick to learn, eager and enthusiastic. They attended the activities in their holidays, arrived early and were in no hurry to leave.
They achieved good standards if work.
The success of this first year has resulted from our enthusiasm, the generosity of donors driven by the extreme need of the children on this beautiful island of Ometepe. Dreamland Tours, José's company, supported me during my visit, with the provision of food for me, organising our meals for the children and taking me on some of their tours in my free time.
In Nicaragua children often do not access education due to lack of uniform and parents have to choose between food or school
Teachers sometimes have to wait for their salaries which are very poor and out of this they have to buy all the stationery and equipment they need.
Classrooms are quite bare with furniture in an unsafe state and are cleaned by the pupils.
Purchases this year
- 37 children provided with school clothing
- Boys and girls football teams now have their own school kit
- A few preschool play items have been provided
- The school has a desktop computer printer and data projector
- Teacher have a small amount of equipment for their teaching
- The school has an audio system for their cultural activities and to participate in traditional festivals
- The school will be connected to the internet for one year
- Local children have had a celebratory party with a good meal.
- The school will have some stationery and sports equipment sent from UK
And next year our plans are to address some of the following
- Provide a further group of children with school uniform
- Pay internet costs for a further year
- Support school in using the Internet to make connections to the Uk and access support for itself.
- To provide equipment for preschool classes
- To provide general equipment and stationery for pupils and teachers
- To support selected individual children with additional needs
- To support selected local women to undertake training
- To purchase musical instruments for the schools
- To continue sending clothing for babies and young children
However one point to remember is that these children are our future, they may be poor but they deserve the best.
Connections with Dreamland Tours
Connections with Dreamland Tours
From January 2018 Dreamland Tours, a tour operator offering kayak tours and a restaurant began to support and work with Kids and Kayaks in offering hospitality, tours and meals to Carolyn Susan Gibbs, who came from England to achieve the plans for Kids and Kayaks.
Also Dreamland Tours will continue to cooperate with the project Kids and Kayaks, with annual voluntary contributions and thus support the education at the primary school in Urbaite and the well being of the children in the town.
Also Dreamland Tours will further support by seeking more help from other organisations and interested people.