Who are we?
Short Answer: A bunch of people from beautiful rural places, who want to help friends in other rural places!
Long Answer: Originally the initiative of two friends from rural Ontario, Canada, it is now the collaborative effort of people from various regions and backgrounds.
Brian and Carmen are best friends who grew up together in a 5-family community called ‘Purple Hill’ in the rolling hills of Scugog township, Ontario. In 2009, they found themselves in the company of some friendly farmers in northern Nicaragua and they listened as their friends described how cycles of poverty and isolation in their rural communities can create major barriers to accessing education and health care.
Bri and Carm asked them to describe their vision for the future of their families and communities. Their vision involved:
local schools with adequate resources
access to health care services
professionals from and within their communities providing education and health related services
children who go to school knowing they have a future in study or career after grade 6
This organization was born to help facilitate small-scale, community-initiated projects that help achieve this vision.
All of our projects start with a conversation over locally-grown coffee or pinolillo (a traditional corn-based drink) and usually end in some kind of improvement in access to education or health care. Community members, through their own decision-making processes, describe their need and their desired outcome. The rest is taken care of, one way or another, by our team: Carmen, Brian, Carmelo, Doug (Duglas), Marlon, Anna, Nelson, George (Jorge), Lisa, Mercedes, Hipolito, and Ana! You can learn more about all these fantastic people here.
We are dedicated to a sustainable future for health care in these communities. There are two ways we do this.
The first is a short-term solution: we supply funding for medicines and logistical support so that Nicaraguan health professionals can travel to and provide care in these communities. In addition, in special cases we help financially support individuals with complex medical needs so they can travel to the appropriate clinics in the capital city.
The second is a long-term approach: we support students from the communities pursue higher education, most of whom have expressed an interest in pursuing a health profession. Students receive support only if they agree to provide at least twice monthly services in their own community for 5 years once they have graduated and are working professionals.
Prior to 2009, primary school graduates in El Rosario often weren’t able to pay for the transportation to the high school 25 km away for the duration of their high school careers. We began supporting one student in 2008 and now in 2015 we are helping 33 high school students get to school every week. Our support includes paying the bus fare, the school books and lunch on school days. As of 2013, several students have begun to finish their high school diplomas and we now currently also support 7 post-secondary students.
Our friend and colleague, Marlon, is a talented mural painter and we have brought several of his paintings back to Canada to sell for the purpose of helping send these children to school. Take a look at the paintings here!
We invite you to explore the website, check out our various projects and get in touch if you'd like to help.