Building new hope with new classrooms
Bricks-and-mortar classrooms provide safe spaces for children to learn in La Chiriza, Nicaragua
By Vicki Quigley, brand stewardship manager, Canada (with files from CCFC Nicaragua)
LA CHIRIZA, Nicaragua — It’s 7 a.m. in La Chiriza, Nicaragua. The sound of noisy laughter can be heard inside a blue brick school as children rush into one of three colourful new classrooms. In each class, a teacher sits at a small wooden desk in the right corner preparing for another exhausting, but gratifying, day. Lines of neatly arranged desks fill the rooms.
Not long ago, the situation was very different.
“We didn’t have classrooms,” explains Maritza Gutierrez, vice-director of the elementary school. “Children used to receive their lessons under the shade of the trees.” Swirling dust and the six-month rainy season made outdoor learning difficult. Thanks to the support of Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) donors and partners, Nicaragua’s Ministry of Education and the Taiwanese Fund for Children and Families, children are closer to school, and their daily walk is safer.
"I like my new school and all we do here. I feel safer, because my school is near home and is just for little boys and girls like me."
- Angoli, 7 (pictured, above, middle)
“Kids used to walk as far as three kilometres to get to the nearest school,” shares Ana Rosa, a mother of four. Busy traffic, no sidewalks, floods, gang violence and robberies used to make the journey dangerous. Today, Ana Rosa’s children, and more than 100 other students, don’t have far to walk during rainy season.
Before a CCFC field staff member ends her school visit, she asks the children what they'd like to say to donors. Some raise their hands, while others laugh and loudly say “thank you!”
She breathes in the joy and hope of childhood, looks at the kids singing and laughing, preparing for their future lives, and feels grateful. Thanks to the new classrooms, the children feel more secure and have greater opportunities to learn.
About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:
Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.