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Our first project as BRIDGE Nicaragua is the construction of a 18'x30' library and computer center for Morrito Nicaragua which grew out of our first trip.
Morrito, Nicaragua is the third poorest municipality of the second poorest country in the Americas and 34% of the population lives in extreme poverty at less than 1$ per day.
Volunteers for BRIDGE Nicaragua (Building Resources in International Development for Global Equality), hosted by the local judge visited the community in August of 2008 after members of the community requested a library be constructed. Morritians live in conditions which restrict their options for personal advancement in life, and BRIDGE Nicaragua seeks to expand their options and empower them. There is no better way to do that than to expand access to information, education, and job skills with a library and computer center.
BRIDGE Nicaragua is a group of students and faculty from San Francisco State University who have grown tired of the status quo and the increasing divide between rich and poor. Thousands die daily of treatable diseases and malnutrition. We recognize that the only way to create positive change is to take action. We have chosen this project after careful consideration of where the problems lay both geographically and systematically and where our skills can be best leveraged to create the change we seek. In early April, 2008, community leaders met with several teachers to prioritize needs in Morrito and decided that a library was the highest priority. BRIDGE Nicaragua volunteers decided on this project after a survey trip in August of 2008. A second trip to finalize construction details will be made in January 2009 and construction will begin in July of 2009 if sufficient funds can be raised.
BRIDGE Nicaragua is working with several organizations on this project. The International Humanities Center is providing us with fiscal sponsorship. The Hester J Hodgdon Libraries for All Program will help us obtain our initial collection of books, along with development of the initial library policies. The structure will be designed by San Francisco State University Engineering Students and placed on the site of the largest elementary school in the municipality. After construction, the structure, books and computers will be a gift to the local Ministry of Education (MINED) who has agreed to provide a librarian, maintenance, and monthly power costs for the structure. The library will provide materials to the entire community.
These books and computers will empower Morritans by teaching them valuable job skills and giving them access to a wide variety of information both in the books and in digital archives stored on the computers. The only current library in Morrito is 30 years old and is composed of only 50 children’s books in a community of 7000 people.
But as always, these things require money and that is the purpose of this pledge request. We are requesting pledges in the hopes of protecting our donors and ultimately receiving more donations. We acknowledge that there is always a chance that something unforeseen will occur and the library will fail to be completed which is why we have opted to construct the library from our own funds. This takes the risk off of donors in the event that the project fails, the donors don’t have to feel that their funds were wasted.
BRIDGE Nicaragua will also complete a minor project during the trip this January. This project will be entirely community guided, and an opportunity for BRIDGE Volunteers to develop closer ties with Morrito. It will be determined in a community meeting this January. If you are interested in making a donation to this effort, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To maximize the efficiency of the $12,000 needed to construct this library, all volunteers, both American and Nicaraguan are entirely unpaid and responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. The exceptions to this are the project foreman and translator, both Nicaraguan employees getting paid $20/day. Also, 5% of all tax deductible donations go to cover the International Humanities Center’s costs as fiscal sponsors for this project.
If you have questions or comments, please call David Reber (415-889-3863) or Kristine Low (415-503-8884). Please visit us on our website at bridgenicaragua.org. We are a very open organization always looking for people to join us and help out where they can.
To donate, please click here
BRIDGE Nicaragua is a project of International Humanities Center, a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. All donations are tax deductible.
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