What We Want To Do
Provide a special pre-school for a very remote and disadvantaged community in Puerto Morazán, Nicaragua. Puerto Morazán is the poorest region of Nicaragua, itself the second poorest country in the entire Western hemisphere.
What’s distinctive about our project is that we want to provide a unique educational service to the community, one very rare in Central America - one based on the Montessori approach.
We’re trying to raise £10,000 to do this - money that will go to build the infrastructure needed and fund teaching and educational resources for 3 years.
Thankfully, the land is agreed and ready for that first shovel - with makes us turning this vision into a reality that much more achievable, with your help.
Who Are We?
The Friends of Morazán is a Bristol, UK-based registered charity (1111253). Our relationship with Nicaragua stems from Bristol’s twin-city relationship with the municipality of Puerto Morazán in Nicaragua, which has 24 communities and a population of 16,000.
You can find out more about our mission and past accomplishments HERE.
Why Do The Children Need These Schools ?
Simple: there’s nothing else for them. That means thousands of Nicaragua’s potential engineers, managers, teachers and entrepreneurs of tomorrow have zero pre-school provision, other than occasional meets in the shade of a tree or in a borrowed “rancho” (grass roof open sided structure). In this community in Puerto Morázan there is literally nowhere for them to meet.
While primary and secondary education in Nicaragua is free and a priority, community pre-schools barely exist and their teachers receive only £15 per month from the government towards their expenses. That means parents have to take on the responsibility of managing the schools. As a result, many of the pre-schools that do exist in the country don’t have clean drinking water or toilets, and just stagger on as they can under trees or in temporary shacks with mud floors.
Remember, too, that in a country with often torrential rainfall and temperatures that regularly reach 30 degrees Centigrade and more, with 100% humidity, there’s a strong need for proper, sheltered spaces for children to learn.
How Does A Montessori Pre-School Help The Community?
Our team has funded schools in other parts of Puerto Morázan, where we learned from stakeholders ranging from teachers to government officials that access to proper teaching and materials in a purpose-built environment makes a real difference.
Parents are more likely to send their kids to school, and as a result the children are better prepared for primary school. What’s more, they are often found to be calmer and more organised at home.
Norberto Santos, Regional Representative of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, states how,
“Bristol Friends of Morazán has allowed us to improve the quality of education for the children in our municipality, as well as the professional quality of our teachers.
"The construction and refurbishment of classrooms brings dignity to Puerto Morázan's childrens’ lives, and BLINC’s help with the purchase of desks, tables, and educational materials has been very helpful.”
Santos also notes how we’ve helped in the professional development of our teachers, particularly in the use of the Montessori methodology.
Clearly, the schools benefit the whole community, with grown-ups galvanised to be involved in the building of the schools, which then become a source of immense local pride. Even better, once up-and-running, the schools can also be a great resource for other kinds of community interaction, e.g. group meets, and have even helped villagers attract funding for additional improvements such as for a play area, wells and latrines, educational gardens and so on. And of course once the parents can rely on a safe and structured pre-school, they can take on more paid work and contribute to the economy.
What Some Parents And Educators At Our Other Montessori Projects Have Said About Our Work In Nicaragua
“I feel grateful for the help provided to my daughter and to all the children. It is a great help, a blessing that has been sent here for the children.” - Jackelin
“My daughter comes back cheerful and she’s always reminding us to take her to school! With the teachers’ help and the Montessori materials, she has made great progress. They’re learning, Spanish, Maths - everything.” - Samuel
“This link with our friends in Bristol has been very important for us for many years. BLINC’s provided materials, training and support for us, and where previously there wasn’t a suitable place for classes, now we have proper classrooms. Plus, the Montessori method is very practical; the children learn through living, and what they learn they can share with others in their homes and here at school.” - Marisol, a teacher
Montessori Education is a well established and proven system of education, widely used throughout the world. It encourages self confidence, self control and motivation. It is geared to the needs of children and follows their natural development, helping them to acquire life skills in a practical and interesting way.
“The outcomes of the Montessori methodology have been excellent,” adds Norberto Santos.
“At the Ministry of Education, we really value this approach because it helps our children to become more independent and more mature at an earlier age.”
OK, I’m Convinced, This Is A Great Idea. How Can I Help?
The children of Puerto Morázan need your financial help to complete this fantastic project.
If you agree that building a lovely new Montessori pre-school would help them and their community, please support us by pledging a small sum online - it would really help.
Please Help Create This Unique Resource For The Beautiful Children Of Nicaragua
We’d like to break ground on the project in 2017 so it’d be ready for the school year. Can you help us make that happen?