It’s well known that summer camps offer huge benefits to kids. But why should kids in developed countries be the only ones who should benefit? Campo Alegría was founded to offer kids from Nicaragua those same benefits, at no cost to the camper.
But our work doesn’t stop when they leave the shores of Lake Nicaragua.
Not Just Camps
The public schools in Nicaragua are severely underfunded. (Indeed, they have routinely been ranked the worst in Central America.) One building is used to school different age groups — a portion go to school in the morning and the other half go to school in the afternoon — because there is not enough money to build more schools or hire more teachers. No meals are provided. Often, there are upwards of 50 students in a single classroom, with a single teacher. There are no books. Few classrooms have chalkboards, let alone computers.
In 2004, we began sponsoring a student to attend a private school in Nicaragua. In 2005, enough money was given to enable that student to travel to the USA, to attend the private school run by Chop Point in Maine. After graduating from Chop Point School in 2010 — and becoming completely bilingual — the student returned to Nicaragua and enrolled in medical school (on scholarship), with plans to serve God and her country as a doctor.
Since that first student sponsorship, five other students have been sponsored through Campo Alegria. Two are now attending Chop Point School in the USA and three more are sponsored at a private school in Managua. As with camper sponsorships, we rely on the support of donors to educate these children.
Student Sponsorships Change Lives
The private schools in Nicaragua aren’t perfect, but they do offer students smaller student-teacher ratios, books, desks, teachers with college educations, English classes, and access to computers. One student can attend a private school for an entire year for just $100/month (including the cost of books, uniforms, and all other tuition and fees). Think of it. What many North Americans spend on eating out just twice a month can make a life-changing difference in a child’s life. With an education, these kids can become productive, successful members of society, breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.
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