I want to thank everyone who generously donated to help Women in Action and Compas through this difficult time of unrest in Nicaragua. If you haven't yet contributed, please consider making a donation today--your support will allow us to help those most affected by this current crisis.
There were several days throughout this crisis in which we were not able to meet with the women and our project work was suspended. When we were able to meet, the women began to share stories of how the crisis has meant that they have not been able to work or feed their families.
We knew that the current crisis was going to most affect the impoverished; but we were deeply saddened when the women said that their families hadn’t eaten in days! Many had then resorted to trying to fish the highly polluted, Lake Managua, although few had any luck in catching fish.
The women began to cry uncontrollably as each one told their story---they have no idea how they are going to be able to feed their children, and they are extremely worried.
Hearing these heartbreaking stories, I found myself feeling selfish. I have been worried as well. Worried about the future of the country, and about how the current crisis will affect our small, non-profit, which relies partly on service learning trip groups for funding. I have also wondered about my 2 ½ year old daughter and if she might be able to start pre-school next year. I also worry about how we are going to maintain our family now that my wife is pregnant with our second child. The difference between my worries and those of the women? I have the option of packing up our stuff and moving to the U.S. and finding work there. The women are not that lucky.
Thanks to your generosity, our emergency campaign has raised over $3,000. We have since used a third of that to buy staple foods for the women and their families so that they will at least have rice and beans to eat in the coming weeks. It was heartbreaking to see the wide eyes of the children when they excitedly saw food being taken into their homes and exclaimed, “Mommy, mommy, now that we have food, please cook mommy, please cook right away!”
We felt like this was the best use of the funds in this critical time to ensure that the families at least had enough to eat. We will be using the rest of the funds raised so far to ensure the solvency of the WIA microlending bank and to be able to give a round of small loans to each family so that they can get through this time of crisis. Here is a video of WIA receiving the food and supplies.
We still need funding for $2,000 to build the homes for the 4 women in action members who are most in need of a new roof. As well as funding moving forward for operating costs and to offset the loss of income from the cancelled service learning trips. If you are able, please consider making a donation--this is a critical time for our friends in Nicaragua!
Since the beginning of the political unrest, there have been many articles and publications with different perspectives about what has and is happening; and who or what was to blame. Many blame the government for corruption and for repressing unarmed, student protestors. Some blame the current crisis on a planned, right wing coup. Few seem to cover what is happening to people living on the margins. The people that we work with in Managua and in La Paz don’t have time for political analysis—they spend most of their time figuring out how to feed their families. They all pray for an immediate and peaceful end to the current crisis.
We hope to continue to have your support as we work in solidarity with our friends in Nicaragua.
Thanks so much!
Michael Boudreau Executive Director Compas de Nicaragua