What's happening at UPNicaragua?

As most of you are aware of, things have continued to dramatically change in Nicaragua. 

The challenges we face as a nation are complex and at every level; they range from extreme emotional traumas to economic challenges, political and social complexity.  

There is always a silver lining— those same challenges have taught us so much, here’s 3 takeaways I’d like to share with you today:

The first takeaway is: at any give moment, we are privileged. Sometimes in such basic ways that we forget.  The mere freedom of being able to have hard conversations on hard topics such as politics, economics, and ethical questions at the core of our society, without repression is massive.  Lesson: ‘Acknowledge it, exercise it and protect it every day while you can’.

The second takeaway is: community is everything.  I have seen the power of communities coming together to help those in need in the most humbling ways, from the simplest acts to the most complex and even life threatening.   Lesson: ‘Built it, nourish it, love it’.

The last one I will share today, we are resilient beyond our imagination.  Our capacity to adapt is an admirable quality we humans have; I don’t know where we would be without it.  Lesson: we must use our power to be resilient and adapt, but this must never be confused with adapting, accepting or becoming habituated to what is inherently unjust.

The changes Nicaragua is experiencing have affected our revenue sources for running our education program, which heavily relied on the handcrafted products we produced and sold in tourist cities.  But we are lucky and are ever grateful to have friends and family who have contributed so we could continue offering girls the education opportunities they absolutely need to thrive and build that bright future we all dream of.

6 months into the socio-political and humanitarian crisis we are looking at our mid-term and long-term possibilities and we are certainly having to adapt to a different 2019, but hoping that the 2020 scenario will be better.  The changes we will implement now are partly financial but also strategic. 

Throughout the rest of 2018 and 2019 UPN will continue to offer 3 services:  ‘Private School Scholarships’, ‘ESL scholarships’, ‘Web Development and Coding Course’, we will implement monthly full-day ‘Community Engagement Sessions’ to continue nourishing our community.  Unless things massively shift, as of November 2018, our UPNicaragua physical facility will be closed (grateful to have access to other community centers) and our ‘Daily Supplementary Education, Mentorship and Life Skills Program’ will be on standby for the rest of 2018 and all of 2019.

We continue to be committed to each student and their families and the search for sustainable solutions to the challenges we face.  We are adapting for the time being, while necessary changes happen in our country.

The great news is that we are strongly committed, the girls and families are grateful for having access to opportunities, and we have the support of so many of you.  Today I’d like to give a special shout out to Empowerment International , which is not only doing amazing work through their programs, but has also given enormous support to UPNicaragua in the last months. It is thanks to them that we are now able to offer tax-deductible donations.

Once again we are grateful for your donations during these hard times, they have and continue to contribute to the present and future of Nicaraguan girls and society.

Your thoughts, words, prayers and support are appreciated beyond measure.

The sun will rise again!