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Registered Charity No. 1028085

Issue 31, July 2008

Registered Charity No. 1028085 Issue 31, July 2008 20 t h Anniversary Party Saturday 13 t

20 th

Registered Charity No. 1028085 Issue 31, July 2008 20 t h Anniversary Party Saturday 13 t

Anniversary Party

Saturday 13 th September 2008

Please find your invitation to the party enclosed.

Party Saturday 13 t h September 2008 Please find your invitation to the party enclosed. SRF
Party Saturday 13 t h September 2008 Please find your invitation to the party enclosed. SRF
Party Saturday 13 t h September 2008 Please find your invitation to the party enclosed. SRF

SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.1

20 th Anniversary Party

Twenty years ago, the first steps were taken to establish a link between the Santa Rosa School in Nicaragua and Southway School in Plymouth, UK. Many things have happened to the link since then, but it has endured. This September the Santa Rosa Fund will celebrate its 20 th anniversary. We invite all supporters of the link to join us in the celebration on the evening of 13 th September.

Details are given on your enclosed invitation, and we ask those of you who can join us to return the reply slip with a cheque to cover the cost of your ticket(s).

We look forward to seeing you there.

New headteacher at the Santa Rosa School

Members and trustees of the Santa Rosa Fund send their best wishes to María Elizabet Aragón Roa who was appointed this January as headteacher/directora of the Santa Rosa School. This follows the retirement in May 2007 of Virginia Gómez de Guillén who had served the school since 1987 and who is an extremely hard act to follow.

since 1987 and who is an extremely hard act to follow. María Elizabet (left) with two

María Elizabet (left) with two of her colleagues at the Santa Rosa School

María Elizabet has taught at the school for several years and is taking over at a time when school rolls have rapidly increased as a result of parents no longer having to pay monthly school fees for the purchase of educational materials. The pressure on Nicaraguan schools as a result of the changes in policy are felt as hard at the Santa Rosa School as they are anywhere else in the country, and MINED (the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education) is constantly asking the Santa Rosa School to take more pupils.

constantly asking the Santa Rosa School to take more pupils. María Elizabet making a speech at

María Elizabet making a speech at the national teachers’ strike in 2004

In 2004, María Elizabet led the Santa Rosa School’s delegation of teachers in the national teachers’ strike over pay. [This is an issue that the Santa Rosa Fund has covered on several occasions in its previous newsletters.]

The hard work and effort of Marcia Ordeñana Rivera who served as acting headteacher from mid-2007 should also be recognised. We would like to thank Marcia for her significant contribution to the

running of the school and in particular for her cooperation with the trustees and volunteers who gave computer training to several members of staff at the school last summer. (Marcia was featured on page 6 of SRF Newsletter No. 29 in June 2007.)

La Chureca: “the nearest thing to hell”

The Santa Rosa Fund has recently begun to support an educational project on Managua’s waste dump La Chureca. The Wales Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign (Wales NSC) has launched an appeal to support the Los Quinchos Centre which is based inside the dump. The following brief extracts from Wales NSC Newsletter explain some of the background and needs of the project.

With over 70 per cent of its people living in poverty in Nicaragua, it’s hard to imagine how things could be worse. But life for the residents of Managua’s dump, La Chureca, is the nearest thing to hell. They live and work on a rubbish dump which serves Managua’s one million people. 3,000 people, including children as young as two years old, scrape a living every day, scavenging through the rubbish,

The Los Quinchos Centre, inside the dump, provides a place of refuge for 30 or 40 children. They get lessons, a hot lunch, and social support. For those with no family at all, the Centre provides somewhere for them to sleep before they start work again the next morning.

In the long term the Municipal Authority has committed itself to tackling the horrendous problems the residents and workers of La Chureca face. In the meantime, the Wales NSC has launched an appeal to support the Centre for the next two years. They need to raise £300 a month for the Centre, to pay for the salaries of the staff who work with the children a coordinator, a teacher, two vocational instructors, a cook, a nurse and a nightwatchman. In total the appeal is for over £7,000 and reflects the level of need in such dire circumstances.

Initially in 2007, the Santa Rosa Fund donated £200 to the Wales NSC Appeal, but has recently sent another £200. Pending a visit of our trustees or representatives to the Los Quinchos Centre, the Fund may decide to donate more to this needy cause in the future.

More details of the project can be found on the new Santa Rosa Fund website see page 6 and on the Wales NSC website: or in Welsh at

Los pozitos: a change of funding

In 2003 the SRF’s link with the tiny rural school in the village of Los Pozitos was first established. Since then we have ensured that small amounts of money have been sent to the school for the purchase of educational materials that would not have been supplied by any other source. Early in 2007, however, the teacher at the school was withdrawn due to the small number of pupils on roll at the school. With no teacher for the rest of 2007, schooling disappeared and the children returned to the fields to help their parents with their subsistence farming or were sent to spend time with their aunts, uncles, grandparents or other relatives living in other Nicaraguan towns.

In August 2007 the Santa Rosa Fund received from Eloi Treminio (a leader in the community) a request for financial support to enable families in the village to send nine children to a Saturday school in the town of El Viejo throughout 2008. The trustees agreed, and in January the funding was transferred to our partners in El Viejo (the nuns of the Mercedarias Misioneras de Berriz) who work with the community of Los Pozitos. The total amount for the year’s schooling for the nine pupils was $1,400 (US dollars) which covers transport, school fees, educational materials and food during the day. A similar request may be made for 2009.

other funding information


The Santa Rosa Fund now has a total of 212 individuals or households on its lists of supporters. Additionally, we send out a further 33 newsletters to relevant and interested organisations in the UK and 17 to supporters, interested parties or relevant groups in Central America and elsewhere abroad.

Our regular supporters will already know that the Fund’s annual income relies heavily on their generous annual contributions given as a renewal of support, for which we send a prompt each year with our November newsletter.

Gift Aid

As you can see from the enclosed accounts for 2007, the Fund gained an income of almost £1,000 from the tax claimed back as Gift Aid. This highlights the importance of ticking that box on the form we enclose with the November newsletter.

Many thanks to our treasurer, Pat Mayston, and our in-house auditor, Rick Blower, for their efforts in controlling the finances and financial information.

Other news of the fund

World of Children Award Nomination

On behalf of the Santa Rosa Fund, membership secretary Martin Mowforth has been nominated for the World of Children 2008 Humanitarian Award. Details of the World of Children organisation and their awards are given more fully at

The idea and suggestion came from SRF supporter Martin Quinn, along with some of his colleagues at the University of Plymouth. The nomination must relate to a named individual who represents an organisation. The two references required to support the nomination are Sister María-José López and Bruce Callow of the British Embassy in Costa Rica, both of whom were very willing to lend their support to the nomination. The award is international and the competition is great, but if anything did come of it, it could mean the award of prize money up to $100,000 for the SRF. Prize money is only awarded to the organisation represented by the nominee and not to any individual. The Award is made in November.

Our very own website

Over the last three years we have informed our readers of the web page we have for the Santa Rosa Fund on the website of the Charity Commission. Now, much as we support the Charity Commission, we have our

very own website:

( As Brad is giving us a special deal at a cheap rate and because we have to supply all the information for the site, it will take us a few months to get the site fully functional. But it is already active and you can visit it now. We hope to have a range of pages such as a news site and a supporters’ site (on which supporters can post their own views, comments and suggestions) as well as an introduction,

background, history, photo gallery, current newsletter and archive newsletters and material.

The site is being developed for us by Brad Waters

Visit us now - but please be patient for the full experience.

Fund raising events past

Una Ventana en la América Central

Our last newsletter (Issue 30, November 2007) reported back from last summer’s volunteer computer training at the Santa Rosa School, and mentioned that volunteer Doug Specht had given his report in the form of a short film entitled ‘Una Ventana en la América Central’. The film was premiered at The Barbican Theatre in Plymouth’s In The Flesh festival in November 2007 and more recently was shown as part of Mutley and Greenbank week-long festival.

Now Doug has turned the film into a DVD and has added four more short films about his experiences in Central America in 2007. The DVDs are selling at £5 each and can be ordered from Doug is donating all the proceeds to the two organisations which enabled him to make his Central American journey, the Santa Rosa Fund and ENCA (the Environmental Network for Central America).

and ENCA (the Environmental Network for Central America). Recycle your mobile phones for the Santa Rosa

Recycle your mobile phones for the Santa Rosa Fund

America). Recycle your mobile phones for the Santa Rosa Fund Thanks to the efforts of SRF

Thanks to the efforts of SRF supporter Geoff Durant, a retired telephone engineer from Burton-on-Trent, the SRF gained £95 from the sale of recycled mobile phones during 2006 and 2007. Geoff collects old mobile phones, refurbishes them and sells them mostly on E-Bay. For every phone he receives from Santa Rosa Fund sources, he donates £3 from the re-sale to the Fund.

So, instead of throwing away your old mobile, consider leaving it in Tavistock Cycles shop (Paddon’s Row, Tavistock) or with any of the trustees of the Fund.

Quiz Night

On Friday 2 nd May this year, the Fund held its annual Quiz Night, prepared as usual by Malcolm Medhurst and his team of helpers, Judith, Elaine and Ray. We say it each time, and everyone who comes to the quiz nights knows it, but it is worth repeating here again the amount of preparation and work on the night that Malcolm and his team put in for these quizzes is phenomenal; and as a result of it, there is no doubt that we have by far and away the best quizzes for hundreds of miles around. Many, many thanks to them. The Fund made a total of £204 on the night.

The coveted Wooden Spoon was, as usual, the major target for most teams and was eventually won by the 4X team. The Three Stooges team won First Prize with twelve teams taking part. Just to give

SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.5

a taster to those who did not attend the Night, we have included here just one of the rounds of questions the international round answers in bold.

1 What was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion (traditionally in 301 AD)? Ans. Armenia

2 Which animal was first domesticated for food in 5000BC in South America and was brought to Europe by Spanish traders. Elizabeth I had one as a pet? Ans. Guinea Pig

3 What in Florida in 2000 could be hanging, dimpled or pregnant? Ans. Chads

4 What member of the Galliformes order has a wattle and a snood? Ans. Turkey

5 What was the surname of the author Nevil Shute? Ans. Norway 6 What’s the Cockney rhyming slang for friend? Ans. China (China plate mate)

7 What cocktail contains gin, brandy, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine and a dash of bitters? Ans.

Singapore sling

8 Who was a candidate for Stretford and Urmston in the 2001 General Election on a manifesto of free breast implants, increases of

nudist beaches and a ban on parking tickets? Ans. Jordan

9 Which country was pop singer Mika born in? Was it Israel, Jordan, Lebanon or Syria? Ans. Lebanon

10 What links a triangle with shorts? Ans. Bermuda

11 Which country’s major product is sold by a company which has a single letter and single number which represents the country’s

name? Ans. Kuwait (Q8) 12. Which of these countriesflags does not have a gun pictured on it? Bolivia, Guatemala, Mozambique or Nicaragua? Ans.


Developments in Nicaraguan education

This time last year (in SRF Newsletter 29) we reported on the likely effects of the then new Nicaraguan government and its education policies. From mainstream sources of information since that time, most readers will probably be aware that there are some widespread misgivings about the actions of Daniel Ortega’s government, in particular its tendency to autocracy and its continued exclusive power-sharing pact with the discredited thief and embezzler Arnoldo Alemán’s Constitutional Liberal Party.

Despite these concerns and problems - emphasised disproportionately in our media - it is worth noting that the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education (MINED) has introduced a school meals programme for over one million pre-school and primary school pupils. In April this year MINED began distributing 6,000 tons of rice, beans, corn, oil and cereal to 9,000 schools as part of its Integral School Nutrition Programme which aims to increase concentration levels and decrease dropout rates.



Pete Mayston, Rose Cottage, Tuckermarsh, Bere Alston, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7HB

Tel. 01822 840297


Lorna & Martin Legg, Rock Cottage, Morwell Cross, Gulworthy, Tavistock, Devon PL19


8JH, Tel. 01822 833934 Pat Mayston as for Pete (above)

Twinning links representative: Rick Blower, Cloberry Cottage, Brentor, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0NG

Tel. 01822 810600

Membership secretary:

Martin Mowforth, 51 West St., Tavistock, Devon PL19 8JZ

Tel. 01822 617504


SRF Newsletter July 2008, p.6