At the 2000 Rotary International Convention, in San Antonio, Texas, Rotarians from Iowa heard Father Marco Dessy speak about the “Children of the Dump” in Chinandega, Nicaragua. Since 1997 Rotarians from Texas had been supporting Father Marco with the school near the dump and were hoping others would join them in this rescue mission.
These Iowa Rotarians developed a program to provide Christmas gift boxes for the children who had never received a Christmas gift. Churches, schools, businesses, individuals, and Rotary Clubs began to fill these gift boxes that were made especially for this project.
These boxes are about the size of a shoe box. Hundreds of people responded and now over 2,000 children in twelve schools are being helped each year by volunteers from twelve states and part of Canada.
A census is taken of the students in the schools each year in about April and the boxes that are prepared are both age and sex specific. They contain clothes, gifts, and other supplies that are only distributed to those attending school.
This is a vital part of the school today. Due to the lunch program and these Christmas boxes we have the best attended schools in Nicaragua. In some areas school attendance has increased from 28% to over 90% due to this program.
We always need new helpers. If you would like to participate in this work by Hope & Relief International please contact:
Steve or Liz Thorpe
Phone #: (319) 984-9139 or (319) 433-0414