High School Sponsorships
At the end of a very long and bumpy road, El Rosario remains all but forgotten by many of the development programs that promote education in rural Nicaragua.
This isolation is one of the central problems for the people of El Rosario. The closest high school is 25 km away on a very bumpy road. When a young person shows promise to further their studies in Primary school, they often find dead ends because their families can't afford the cost of transportation to the high school nor the smaller costs that are associated (materials, uniform, etc.). Purple Hill Humanitarians began by supporting a single student in 2009, and are now currently supporting 33 high school students with a sponsorship that offsets the costs of attending high school. Here we include information on the cost of attending school, the way recipients are selected, the administration of funds, the accounting of the funds
When students get the support they need, the whole community blossoms with their talents
One of the greatest rewards of this project has been following each student on their journey. They often have to overcome enormous obstacles just to go to school. Being able to help them do so, and seeing the enormous sense of pride and accomplishment when they achieve their goals is incredibly rewarding. The students you see here have all faced considerable odds: early parenthood, loss of family members, raising siblings, running farms, fishing overnight to keep an income. It is thanks to their dedication and commitment to education that has allowed us the honour to support these students in their journey.
Cost to attending High School
(all prices converted to US$ from local currency Cordoba)
$2 return us fare for one school day
$2 for lunch each school day
$1 for school supplies for each school day
= $5 / school day x 36 school days/year *
= $180 / student/ year
*rural Nicaraguan high schools have classes one day per week
How Students are Chosen
In the past, students applied for the sponsorship by writing a letter describing their need and their career or educational goals. Up until 2013, we were able to accept all applicants. Currently there is more demand for this sponsorship than there is funding (45 applicants in 2015), so a different system has been devised.
Recipients are chosen by a local council of 3 people: two elected by the community in a meeting March, 2015, and Inés Lara, who is one of the administrators of the scholarship. Given the budget for the year, the council receives the applications and selects students based on a holistic review of the applicant/application. They take into account:
- The student’s needs
- The student's stated goals
- The student’s commitment and/or achievements (i.e. primary school, secondary school, extra-curricular, etc.)
- Attendance records
- The number of siblings who are currently the sponsorship. Typically, we prefer to reward no more than 3 sponsorships to one family, so that several families in the community can benefit.
Administration of Funds and Attendance
Ana (pictured right) and her parents Ines and Hipolito administer the sponsorships. They are collectively paid US$15 per month for this work.
Funds are either delivered in person by Carmen, or sent via Moneygram or directly to Ana’s bank account in Chinandenga where Ana receives the wire.
Each student is given their weekly allowance in the morning before catching the bus to school. The student signs that they have received the money. To ensure that students attend their classes we check their attendance on the report cards. Students have often show straight A's in attendance. However, if a student must miss class for any reason, they do not receive the funds for that day. Generally, if absences exceed 5 days in the school year, the funds will be offered to another student, although this decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
Accounting of Funds
All along the way, records are kept of the movement of money. International transfers to Nicaragua are recorded from both Canada and Nicaragua. The expenditures are recorded by the administrators (costs like transportation and phone calls). The student signatures of receiving funds are kept in a folder, and given to Carmen when she visits. All records are scanned and accessible to all. Please contact Carmen (email@example.com) for this information.