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Issue 33, June/July 2009
Registered Charity No. 1028085

Members of staff at the Santa Rosa School who have attended computing classes paid for by the Santa Rosa Fund. From left to right – back row and standing: Luz Marina Rosales, Micaela Esperanza Ruiz Lagos, Claudia Ramírez Sequeira, Victoria Morales Mena, Concepción Suárez, Mayra Calderón Ordeñana, María Elizabeth Aragón Roa (headteacher) Front row and seated: Patricia Méndez Sáenz, Pastora Corales Solis, Marcia Ordeñana Rivera, Karla Flores

SRF Newsletter June/July 2009, p.1

Santa Rosa Fund commitments for 2009 delivered in November 2008
The Fund’s core funding commitments for the year 2009 were agreed upon by the trustees at their meeting in October 2008 and were delivered to Nicaragua in November. These basic commitments were as shown in the table below – all amounts are given in US dollars.
Colegio Santa Rosa Monthly purchases of school materials General school fund (previously 3 mini-funds) Computer training courses for staff Computing expenses (running expenses; 6 monthly maintenance fee; trouble shooter Gill Holmes expenses) Sub-total Berriz Missionary Sisters (based in the town of El Viejo) One global amount was donated to the Sisters for 2009 to include funding for a variety of educational projects which the Fund has supported in the past but also for other educational projects as deemed appropriate by the sisters. These include the following projects which have been the subject of articles in previous editions of the SRF Newsletter: Germán Pomares Pre-School in Villa España Rosario Mayorga Primary School in Villa España The library in Villa España Cosigüina Youth Centre José Urtecho Primary School (in the Comarca Venezuela) El Viejo Recreation Centre Quincho Barrilete Association (street kids project, Managua) 1,500 750 650 600 3,500



Other educational funding by the Santa Rosa Fund
The following sums are not viewed by the SRF trustees as fixed commitments, but were donated for 2009.
Schooling costs for children from the village of Los Pozitos Los Quinchos project on Managua’s La Chureca dump (via Wales NSC)1 Sub-total 1,400 Approx. 280 1,680

Thus far in 2009, the Grand Total of funds donated to educational initiatives and projects in Nicaragua amounts to US$ 12,540. This is down on the total for 2008, although more will probably be delivered later in the year. The decrease reflects the fall in the number of dollars that we can buy for our pounds compared with the beginning of 2008. The full set of accounts showing income and expenditure for the year 1.1.08 to 31.12.08 is given on the next page.

This amount is given as approximate because it is donated for the project to the Wales NSC (Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign) and is therefore given in pounds sterling rather than US dollars.

SRF Newsletter June/July 2009, p.2

(All figures are given in pounds sterling unless otherwise stated.) INCOME Bank Balance from Santa Rosa Fund, 31.12.07 Petty Cash Also in dollars cash account Donations from supporters Fund raising Represented by: Quiz Night Sports Relief Acoustic Cafe (Tavistock) 20th Anniversary Event Fair Trade Event Mobile Phones recycled for resale Gift Aid Sale of Doug Specht’s DVDs Bank Interest Dollar exchange credit Total EXPENDITURE Donations to projects in Nicaragua Please note this indented section only is represented in $ (US dollars) Santa Rosa School Materials 1500 School General Fund (previously mini-funds) 750 School Staff Bonuses (in Nicaragua) 700 Computer expenses and running costs 600 Staff training in computing skills 650 Repair of Stage 100 Associacion Quincho Barrilete 360 Los Pozitos 1400 Sub-total 6060 Costs of Fund Raising Affiliations, NSC 1 Donations to related organisations2 Newsletters, printing cost Postage (newsletters * 2) Stationery and photocopying Public Liability Insurance (1 year) Website Costs for next 5 years DVD Costs Bank Charges Total BALANCE: £ 11503:27 – 5437:52 Represented by: Current account Petty cash Dollar cash account
1 2

3090.24 23.83 $ 63 5598.20 1276.85 199.45 34.30 245.10 694.00 104.00 88.00 1102.52 260.00 55.21 8.42 11503.27

3846.14 *

612.05 50.00 250.00 168.72 168.09 95.70 110.00 92.82 20.00 24.00 5437.52 6065.75 6041.30 24.45 $ 199

NSC: Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Welsh NSC (200) and Casa Alianza(50) *$10125 was drawn in December 2007 and shows on the 2007 accounts; this money was disbursed in 2008. Therefore the total donations to projects in Nicaragua in 2008 was $16,185 Pat Mayston (Santa Rosa Fund Treasurer) Rick Blower (Auditor)

SRF Newsletter June/July 2009, p.3

News of projects funded by the Santa Rosa Fund
The Santa Rosa School, Managua
Final section of the perimeter wall The photo on the left shows the new headteacher, María Elizabeth Aragón, inspecting the final section of the school’s perimeter wall as the builders finish it off. The wall was understandably not seen as a priority by the Ministry of Education and the work was therefore financed by the Santa Rosa Fund. It was seen as necessary by the administration of the school in order to ensure good relations with their neighbours whose work was being disturbed by pupils at the school during periods such as break time and the changeover from morning to afternoon schools. Repair of the stage In November 2008, the surface of the stage at the school was in a bad state of repair – see photo on the right. As all previous visitors to the school are aware, the stage (whose construction was originally funded by the Santa Rosa Fund) has been a crucial facility at the school. Given the importance of dance events at the school – thanks in large part to choreographer, dancer and long-time member of staff at the school, Modesto Flores Hernández – it was deemed essential to repair the stage surface so that it could again be used for such events. The Fund donated $100 (US dollars) for its resurfacing which was done over the long Christmas holiday. It is now in use again as the following account from Gill Holmes illustrates. Literacy Campaign Commemoration
Gill Holmes is the Santa Rosa Fund’s computing trouble-shooter at the school in Managua. On a recent visit to the school to update the anti-virus software on the school’s computers, she was asked to fulfil another task, shortly after which she wrote to us as follows:

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you about my visit to the school yesterday. I went to update the anti-virus and did so. All is fine with the computers. I was just finishing up when María Elizabet took advantage of my presence and asked if I would be on the panel of judges for the Literacy Campaign Mural Contest and guess what, judging was about to start right away! The contest was devised by the school as a way of remembering the Literacy Campaign in 1980 and the contribution made to it by thousands of young people, some of
Pre-school teachers, Marbel Espinoza and Concepción Suárez, and librarian Luz Marina Rosales with the mural that they and their classes created

whom lost their lives in Contra attacks, accidents and illness while teaching in isolated areas of the country. It was part of Education Week, which is being celebrated here in Nicaragua.

My fellow judges were the head of the neighbourhood CPC (Citizen’s Power Council) who was a young woman dressed in a dazzling orange skirt suit, an elderly man who represented the local neighbourhood Literacy Council and the man from the Alcaldía responsible for the district’s current literacy campaign. SRF Newsletter June/July 2009, p.4

There were three murals. The first had been created by the teachers (and pupils?) of the pre-school, 1st and 2nd grades, the second corresponded to the 3rd and 4th grades and the third had been put together by the teachers from 5th and 6th grades. The results gave first place (96 points) to the third mural which was beautifully put together, combining a central drawing (coloured with crayons) of typical ‘classrooms’ in town and countryside with the young brigadista teaching. All around this was a wealth of interesting and colourful information varying from written bullet points (60,000 young people took part in the literacy campaign) to photos, a brigadista’s id card and her certificate (now yellowed with age). One of the teachers had actually taken part in the Campaign as a teenager and had been able to provide much of the historical material. A special mention must be made of the pre-school, 1st and 2nd grades mural which came second with 95 points. The children sang the brigadistas anthem for us and little though they are, they knew all the words of the four verses of the song. The mural was also well presented with a pre-school size brigadista’s uniform hanging from the wall.

Quincho Barrilete Association
In November 2008, the SRF’s small annual donation to the street kids’ organisation, the Quincho Barrilete Association, was delivered to their headquarters down the road from the Santa Rosa School in Managua. As always, the Association was grateful for our small efforts to help them. The Association’s directora, María Consuelo Sánchez, discussed the current government’s policy against abortion of any kind. She explained that abortion is always a problem in a country like Nicaragua with Catholic origins, but she understood the government’s wish to keep the religious vote. Given the prevalence of premature pregnancies, however, the policy does make it rather more difficult for the Association. Despite this, she was more concerned about the prevalence of sexual abuse within the family, especially the high incidence of mothers who put their children on the streets to earn money. She described the vicious circle of abuse of the mother being repeated with the daughter. The SRF trustees decided another $100 (US dollars) are to be given to Quincho in Managua later this year.

Los Quinchos Project on Managua’s La Chureca Dump
In November Gill Holmes paid a second visit to the Los Quinchos Project for kids who work on Managua’s La Chureca dump, which was featured in Issue 31 of the SRF Newsletter (July 2008) with Gill’s report from her first visit. With all the smouldering rubble and spontaneous fires, Danté’s Inferno seemed a very appropriate description of the dump, and the headline for our article in Issue 31 referred to La Chureca as ‘Hell on Earth’. A little before the November visit two of the kids in the Los Quinchos project had died and several had fallen ill from eating rat poison disguised as chocolate which they had found on the dump. Again, Gill’s report from the meeting with the staff of the project is too long for inclusion here; but it is included in full with many photographs on our website, . Also included there, on the ‘La Chureca’ project page, are three short videos
Some of the kids at the Los Quinchos Project on La Chureca dump

which give a very good idea of the lives of those who live on the dump.

Doña Beneranda and María Auxiliadora cooking lunch

SRF Newsletter June/July 2009, p.5

Projects in the Cosigüina Peninsula
Last November, discussions and visits made with the nuns of the Berriz Sisters based in the town of El Viejo updated us on the progress of a number of projects for which the Sisters use the money donated by the Santa Rosa Fund.

L to R: Andria, a Mexican volunteer; Sister Rosvia (from Guatemala); Sister Aileen (from the Philippines); and Sister Rosario (from Mexico)

Germán Pomares Pre-School, Villa España Veronica Treminio, who lives in El Viejo, has taken over as the pre-school teacher whose salary is funded by the Santa Rosa Fund, and she is a pillar of peace, calm and dignity in the midst of a room full of lots of little bundles of energy. She is shown with her class in the photo on the left.

Veronica with some of her charges, November 2008

Rosario Mayorga Primary School, Villa España The primary school, regularly supported by the Fund with small donations for the purchase of educational materials, has a new headteacher. She is Marta Ríos and is shown in the photo. Claudio Davila, the former headteacher, is still at the school as a class teacher – in fact he was playing football with the children during our visit. He is pleased to be able to concentrate on class work with the children. It is worth pointing out that the primary school in Villa España presents an extremely difficult teaching environment. Most of the children attend because food from the World Food Programme is distributed through the school, and attendance increases as the time for distribution approaches. Most of the 6 classes have only a few children in attendance during lesson times, although many others are outside the classrooms. Games outside have been integrated into the teaching programme and are an obvious attraction for many of the potential pupils. A simple glance at the pupils’ clothing and demeanour shows the depth of poverty still experienced in the settlement of Villa España, built to re-house victims of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Villa España library Regular readers of the SRF Newsletter will be aware that the Fund has supported the Villa España library, which is housed in the Rosario Mayorga Primary School, with small donations for the purchase of resources since its inception. In November 2008, the Sisters asked the Fund if we would be able to find another $840 (US dollars) – additional to the $7,000 which we give to the Sisters to disburse amongst a range of projects – to cover the annual salary of Patricia Jarquín, the librarian. Having met the Fund’s commitments for 2009, in January this year the SRF trustees were left with little money and were unable to commit to this extra worthy cause. They had to prioritise the build-up of finances in order to meet the commitments for 2010. When decisions are taken about those commitments at the November 2009 meeting of the trustees, we may be able to consider this extra commitment at that time – if our income over the next few months allows. For 2009, we sadly had to turn down the request of the Sisters.

SRF Newsletter June/July 2009, p.6

El Viejo Recreation Centre Recently Santa Rosa Fund money has been used by the Sisters to support the El Viejo Recreation Centre, so it was appropriate that we should make a visit there in November last year to meet William Vargas Díaz (pictured), director of the Centre. The Recreation Centre, right in the middle of the town of El Viejo, is heavily used by the local youth. Its major uses for the youths consist of its sports facilities and organisations, but under the auspices of the Sisters it also runs workshops and programmes in leadership training, sexual health, relationships, responsibilities and a range of other themes. William oversees and coordinates the courses and programmes, as well as the sports, and also arranges visits between the members and users of the El Viejo Recreation Centre and users of other youth centres in the Cosigüina Peninsula such as the Cosigüina Youth Centre which is also part-funded by the Santa Rosa Fund. More information about the El Viejo Recreation Centre can be found on the Santa Rosa Fund website: . Lastly on the El Viejo Recreation Centre, Sister Rosario is currently investigating ways of funding a high roof for the outdoor pitch which is used for basketball, volleyball, 5-a-side football and various other sports and events. Its use is restricted especially in the rainy season (May to November) and reduces the Centre’s appeal to local youths. Such a construction would be extremely large, and therefore its cost is out of the Santa Rosa Fund’s league. But we thought we’d mention it in case anyone out there has a spare $50,000 (US dollars) which they’d like to invest in a good cause! Los Pozitos In 2007 the schoolteacher in the remote rural village of Los Pozitos was withdrawn by the then new Nicaraguan government on the grounds that the eleven children in attendance did not warrant the allocation of a teacher given the dire necessities elsewhere in the country. In 2008, at the request of members of the parent’s education committee in the village, the Santa Rosa Fund paid $1,400 as the yearly education expenses of the nine children who wished to attend a Saturday school in El Viejo throughout the year. In January this year we received a letter via the Sisters from Eloy Treminio, on behalf of the Los Pozitos children and their parents. A translation follows.
Los Pozitos, El Viejo, Chinandega, 25.01.09
We greet you in the hope that you are well. Our reason for writing to you is to thank you for the aid which we have received from you, which thanks to God has enabled us to continue with our studies and we inform you that we wish to follow up with more studies in the year 2009. I want to tell you that of the nine children who studied, Claudia Judit has now got a partner and will not continue with her studies. Danis does not want to continue because he couldn’t finish the year, having found difficulty with the studies. I’d like the help for Claudia to pass to Franklin Javier who wishes to pursue his first year of secondary school. So, of the nine children for whom we requested help in 2008 only eight remain for assistance to continue their studies in 2009. You know that without this assistance we could not continue with these studies as it would cost too much. In 2008 you supported us with $1,400, and for 2009 we are requesting a little more. You are aware of our situation and of the fact that here in the campo [remote rural areas] we need the hand of friendship in order to get by. Thank you and we hope to see you soon. On behalf of the nine children,

Eloy Treminio

SRF supporters may like to know that the letter arrived just in time for the January meeting of the trustees at which it was decided that we should continue our commitment to fund the education of those children in Los Pozitos who wish to continue with some form of schooling. We therefore transferred the necessary funding to the Sisters in El Viejo. Sister Abdontxu will continue in her role of liaising with the people of Los Pozitos and will disburse the money for payments of the Saturday schooling fees as required.

SRF Newsletter June/July 2009, p.7

March 2009 saw two events which featured the Santa Rosa Fund.

Tavistock’s 4th Annual Fair Trade Fair, held on 7th March, included a stall run by the Fund. It was
not really a fund-raising event, more an awareness raising event and a chance to hone our display and presentation skills. We still have a long way to go in this regard, but at least now we have a Powerpoint presentation as well as our usual posters, photographs, leaflets and newsletters - many thanks to all who staffed the stall during the day.

The Santa Rosa Fund Quiz Night was held on 27th March, and once again quizmaster Malcolm
Medhurst (with his team of Judith Medhurst, Elaine and Ray Bentley) devised ways of defeating all the teams who took part. The race for the wooden spoon was again hotly contested. And the Fund raised approximately £240 on the night. Many thanks to all who helped out on the night – those who ran the raffle, those who donated raffle prizes, helpers on the door and those who publicised the event – but especially to Malcolm and his team. (The team names are always of interest and this year they included: Hang The Bankers; Los Bobos; No Hopers; The Token Man; and First Timers.)



Acoustic Café, Tavistock’s monthly live music event, is holding a special day (not just evening) on 25 th July. The event will be held in Tavistock Town Hall in two parts: From 11 am to 4:30 pm – stalls; displays; open mike jamming session; kids session; guitar workshops; café. 7 – 11:30 pm – The best of Acoustic Café – the usual musical format. The Town Hall bar will serve drinks, so the usual bring-your-own format will not apply. Proceeds will be divided between the charities usually supported by Acoustic Café, including the Santa Rosa Fund.

Other News
Casa Alianza – Evidence that the current financial crisis is hitting the voluntary and charity sector as
much as our individual pockets is provided by the sad news that Casa Alianza Guatemala has had to close down its operations in the country after 28 years of dedicated service to street children there. Efforts to find the funding for their programme were exhaustive but fruitless. All children currently in the programme are being placed safely and appropriately. The Casa Alianza programmes in Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua continue. Through an annual affiliation fee, the Santa Rosa Fund continues to support Casa Alianza UK, but to a very low level. SRF supporters who wish to make their own donations to the organisation will find out more from their website: SANTA ROSA FUND CONTACTS

Pete Mayston, Rose Cottage, Tuckermarsh, Bere Alston, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7HB Tel. 01822 840297 Email: Secretary: Lorna & Martin Legg, Rock Cottage, Morwell Cross, Gulworthy, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8JH, Tel. 01822 833934 Email: Treasurer: Pat Mayston – as for Pete (above) Twinning links representative: Rick Blower, Cloberry Cottage, Brentor, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0NG Tel. 01822 810600 Email: Membership secretary: Martin Mowforth, 51 West St., Tavistock, Devon PL19 8JZ Tel. 01822 617504 Email:

PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER SRF Newsletter June/July 2009, p.8