You are on page 1of 8

Registered Charity No.

1028085

Supporting educational initiatives and projects in Nicaragua


www.santarosafund.org

SRF NEWS No 53
July 2019

HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

AT THE TEODORO KINT

LIBRARY IN THE TOWN

OF EL VIEJO

February 2019

The Teodoro Kint Library in El


Viejo provides activities for
schoolchildren during the long
holidays over the Christmas and
New Year period. The Library is
managed by the Fundación
Amigos de Holanda (Friends of
Holland Foundation) which is
supported by the Santa Rosa
Fund.

SRF Newsletter No.53, July 2019, page 1


SRF funding for projects in 2019
For 2019, of the US$13,830 disbursed to our partner organisations and projects in Nicaragua, the
following amounts were sent:
 US$8,000 (58%) was sent to projects in the north-west of Nicaragua (the Cosigüina Peninsula) via
the Friends of Holland Foundation
 US$3,830 (28%) went to supporting the Santa Rosa School in Managua
 US$500 (4%) went to the Quincho Barrilete Association
 US$1,500 (11%) went to a new project to be run by the organisation Somos Diferentes.

Projects in North-West Nicaragua


Teodoro Kint Library, El Viejo

Run by the Friends of Holland Foundation since 1996, the Father


Teodoro Kint Library in El Viejo currently provides the only
library service in the Cosigüina Peninsula of Nicaragua.

At the beginning of this year the Foundation provided the Santa


Rosa Fund with their 2018 Annual Analysis of use of the library. 3,126 people had made use of the
library during the year, and it offers a reader’s club,
handicraft classes and jewellery workshops. The library
has three reading corners, one for the younger children,
one for older children and adolescents and one
environmental corner. Additionally, the library is host
to a large range of workshops and training classes for
old and young alike.

The staff at the library also make numerous visits to the


local schools to run classes and to increase awareness
of the use of the library.

The Foundation’s report is realistic and honest and identifies four major problems facing the library:
1. Material in the library has not been updated since 2012.
2. Accessibility to the internet has reduced use of the library.
3. The socio-political problems faced by the country since April 2018 also reduced attendance at the
library.
4. School holiday times also reduce attendance.

In an attempt to respond to some of these difficulties, the Foundation is seeking funds to buy two
computers and all the attendant equipment and furniture that go with them.

El Viejo Recreation Centre / Youth Centre

The Fund has also received a 2018 report from the El Viejo
Recreation Centre detailing the year’s activities in the Centre.
Courses run by the Centre include dance classes, bakery,
hygiene, clothes making and guitar as well as league teams in the
sports of 5-a-side football, volleyball and basketball. Again, the
report acknowledges the difficulties faced by the Centre during
2018.
SRF Newsletter No.53, July 2019, page 2
Casa Esperanza

Casa Esperanza (Hope House) looks after


people with severe learning and/or physical
difficulties in and around the town of El
Viejo. The Santa Rosa Fund’s money helps
towards payment of the salary of Zeta who
runs the centre with mountains of patience
and good humour. Zeta is seen here (on the
left) with one of the Casa Esperanza regulars.

Every time a trustee or supporter of the SRF visits Casa Esperanza we always
purchase numerous packets of the greetings cards that the users of Casa
Esperanza design and create. The Fund has several packs of these cards available
for purchase if any of our supporters would like to buy them.

Los Pozitos
Los Pozitos is a tiny isolated rural community in the Cosigüina Peninsula of Nicaragua. It consists of 16
families and since SRF trustee Jacky Rushall’s visit there in 2004 the Santa Rosa Fund has supported the
education of the children of Los Pozitos in a number
of different ways. Most recently the Friends of
Holland Foundation has used our annual support for
the children of Los Pozitos to pay for travel to the
village of El Bejuco and other costs of the Los
Pozitos pupils who want to continue their education
by attending the school in El Bejuco. The group of
Los Pozitos secondary students who receive this
support is shown on the right.

In January the trustees of the SRF received a


letter from a student in Los Pozitos, whose
secondary education (up to that point) had been paid
for by the SRF annual donation. Jacky undertook to write a card back to the student which she did with a
suitable message. We put this in the post (air mail) to Amigos de Holanda in El Viejo, wondering whether it
would ever get there and whether it would get even further to Los Pozitos. Well it did get to El Viejo, and
María Lucila (Director of the Friends of Holland Foundation in El Viejo) emailed us to give us more up-to-
date news of Los Pozitos. Her email translates as follows:

Hello Santa Rosa Fund,

We have received the card sent to the student in Los Pozitos, and I have already let her know about it and she will
come to collect it. We had a meeting with the group of young students who receive a grant from the SRF money and
they shared their experiences. It was a very positive encounter.

Two weeks ago I visited this group in their school in the El Bejuco community which they attend on Saturdays as there
is no secondary school in their own community. I was able to talk with some of the teachers and with the headteacher.
I've attached a photo of the group who have received the grants this year.

Greetings

It's great to get this kind of feedback, and we can thank Jacky for being the inspiration for the continuation
of this particular link.

SRF Newsletter No.53, July 2019, page 3


Somos Diferentes – combatting child labour
The ‘We Are Different Youth Collective’ organisation has been developing a range of activities to promote
the prevention of violence amongst adolescents and youth in the town of El Viejo. They also attempt to
prevent child labour and to this end they have made a short video about child labour in El Viejo. The video
can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5EbSYuHi20&feature=youtu.be - we highly
recommend a viewing of the video, even though the narration is in Spanish.

In El Viejo and the surrounding region of the


Cosigüina Peninsula, child labour is rife,
whether it is on the plantations, at the road
intersections, selling products or their bodies or
literally breaking rocks with hammers to create
gravel for building works. All of these are
common practice in the region, and all of them
deprive children of both a childhood and an
education as work is an alternative to school.

The ‘We Are Different Youth Collective’ is an


inspired and inspiring group of young people
who are highly motivated to try to tackle this rampant problem Somos Diferentes Collective: Mari-Ruth, Eliézer,
in the area. They have applied to the Santa Rosa Fund for Dinora, Marlene and Elvin
assistance towards the cost of running several workshops for
working children who do not attend school and at their last
meeting the SRF trustees awarded them US$1,500 for this
essential work. The money is to be delivered to them when (at
their own cost) two trustees visit the region at the end of
August this year; and we look forward to hearing their report
of how their series of workshops progresses.

It is worth making the point for our supporters that the


Collective has already run several such workshops, employing
the techniques of learning through play. Voluntarily they run a
kind of games room (called ‘Ludoteca’) for the working children. They have already prepared much
material for these forthcoming workshops.

The Santa Rosa School, Managua


In February this year, two SRF trustees, Doug Specht and Martin Mowforth, visited the Santa Rosa
School in Managua following their work as election observers at the presidential elections in El
Salvador. It was a chance to meet the new headteacher for the first time and to catch up on various
developments at the school. Extracts from their report to the other trustees follow.

Dear SRF Trustees,

We visited the Quincho Barrilete Association yesterday and the Santa Rosa School
this morning.

Ana María Campos, the new headteacher (see photo), greeted us and we
immediately had a meeting with her. We also recorded a short interview with her.
She seemed very happy to receive us and took us around several classes. We spent a
lot of time in the school’s Ben Dalton Library and took photos of the new shelves,
SRF Newsletter No.53, July 2019, page 4
paid for with the regular donation made by Bill Dalton, Ben’s father
– see photo. Staff members were also very pleased with the new
tables and chairs in the library. Unfortunately, they had had a
break-in of the library last October and the TV had been stolen
along with some memory sticks, and one of the admin computers.
We might want to consider sending funds to cover these losses? In
the computer room, 3 out of the 4 computers were working OK but
the printer is not working properly. Their internet service contract
(with Yota), which had been provided for the first time by former
headteacher, Jairo, expires at the end of February, and they are
The new and very stout library shelves in the
wondering where they can get the funds to extend it for another 12 Ben Dalton Library, Santa Rosa School.
months.

In our interview with her, Ana María talked of her plans for a digital classroom with tablets and data touch
possibilities. She explained that the staff need some training to be able to use such a facility and that the
pupils are more likely to pick up the reading and learning techniques quicker than the staff. It will be
interesting to see how her plans for the digital classroom have developed the next time one of the trustees or
supporters visits the school.

Doug and Martin

Quincho Barrilete Association, Managua


Regular readers of the SRF Newsletter will be aware that the Quincho Barrilete Association (AQB by its
Spanish initials) now works principally with abused children. Doug and
Martin also visited AQB and had a really helpful meeting with María
Consuelo Sánchez, the directora. She is extremely switched on regarding
the social and political situation in the country. She also gave us a clear
run-down on what the AQB is doing.

Señora Sánchez offered a couple of computers for the Santa Rosa School as
they (at Quincho) had a lot of them which were not being used. The
following week, just before returning to the UK, we were able to pick up the
computers from AQB and deliver them to the Santa Rosa School, just one
kilometre away from Quincho’s administrative centre.

We invited the organisation to submit a small application if appropriate for


a specific project funding.

Books For A Better World


Books For A Better World is a former partner organisation of the Santa
Rosa Fund from the early 2000s and at that time provided numerous books
for the Santa Rosa School in Managua. Kae Robb, the founder of Books For
A Better World and our contact in the early years before she died in 2004
said: “A life filled with books is one enriched by the beauty of language
and the excitement of ideas.”
The organisation is once again looking for volunteers to deliver backpacks
of books to various locations in Central America. Anyone interested should
visit: www.booksforabetterworld.org/ for more details.

SRF Newsletter No.53, July 2019, page 5


SANTA ROSA FUND ACCOUNTS TO YEAR ENDING 31.12.18
(All figures are given in pounds sterling unless otherwise stated.)

INCOME

Bank Balance at December 31st 2017 represented by:


Coop Bank current account 9702.03
Petty Cash 24.45

Total Balance from 2017 9726.48

Donations from supporters 7542.00


Martin Quinn’s Sponsored Run 810.00
Donation from Tavistock Quakers 237.40
Fund Raising Event (Quiz Night) 483.85
Gift Aid 1628.67

Total 10701.92
Bank Balance brought forward from 31/12/2017 9702.03

Total 20403.95

EXPENDITURE

Total donations to projects in Nicaragua in 2018 £ 8525.51


Donations sent as dollars $ 11830.00
Please note this indented section only is represented in $ (US dollars) equivalent to £8525.51 shown above. These
monies are transferred to Nicaragua as dollars
Santa Rosa School
Purchases of School Supplies 1500
School Fund 750
Computer expenses and running costs 560
New shelving & tables, Ben Dalton Library 400
Fees for disbursement of funds 120
Projects in El Viejo 7000
Los Pozitos 1000
Associacion Quincho Barrilete 500
Total donations to projects 11830

Fund raising costs (hall hire and publicity) 58.50


Printing of two newsletters 240.00
Postage for newsletters and event publicity to members 110.20
Co-op Bank Charges (money transfers to Nicaragua) 90.41
Stationery 38.49
Payment to Todd Specht for work on GDPR* 70.00
Annual subscription to Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign 75.00
Donation to Performers Without Borders 100.00

Total 9308.11

Balance as at 31/12/18 11120.29


Current Account 11095.84
Petty Cash 24.45

Pat Mayston, Santa Rosa Fund Treasurer / Caroline Rae, Auditor


(* GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation)
SRF Newsletter No.53, July 2019, page 6
MALCOLM MEDHURST, OUR QUIZ MASTER EXTRAORDINAIRE

An appreciation by SRF treasurer Pat Mayston

Malcolm, with the help of his family, has been testing the brain power of our local supporters by devising
and asking the questions at our annual Santa Rosa quiz for over twenty years. Everyone looks forward to
this annual challenge and Malcolm’s unique quiz format. At a very conservative estimate our quizzes have
raised the astonishing sum of five thousand pounds; they are great social evenings and have introduced
many new supporters to the work of the Fund.

Malcolm’s enthusiasm for general knowledge started in his


last year of primary school when pupils were given a list of
questions to find answers for during their holidays, one of
which was the meaning of the word ‘Apartheid’. That interest
has continued throughout his life as a member of successful
quiz teams at the Land Registry first in Harrow and then
Plymouth and at his local village pub, the Edgecumbe, where
he estimates he has been in a team for over twenty years.

Many people will not realise that Malcolm has appeared on


national television in 15 to 1 on Channel 4 and the Great
British Quiz on BBC1. In 2008 he was part of the winning
team, the Bere Heads, which beat the Eggheads on the BBC 2
series to win a prize of £25,000. He has no ambition to
appear on any of the bewildering number of current television
quiz shows but he did tell me that he has always thought he
would like to try the long running Brain of Britain on Radio
4. Malcolm admires the contestants on his favourite TV quiz
show, Only Connect, which is a test of lateral thinking as
well as general knowledge. He said he could never aspire to
their level of skill, but I think that many of his friends would
disagree.

I have always thought that Malcolm must spend many hours


devising the questions for each Santa Rosa quiz; he told me
that the hardest part is setting the overall theme. The questions are always tested on his wife Judy and
Annette, Jim and Kate, their son and daughters and a lot are changed as they are judged to be too difficult!
There are usually two picture rounds and ten more relating to the theme with ten questions in each; for
example, when there was a Shakespearean theme each round was named after one of his plays including the
Tempest and a Midsummer Night’s Dream. The ingenious questions that follow are always a test of our
knowledge and thinking skills.

Malcolm says that he enjoys the friendly and light-hearted atmosphere of our quizzes and that the
participants are the most appreciative he knows. Judy and Malcolm like the principle of giving support to
groups in low income countries and because we are a small charity they can feel a connection with our
partner groups in Nicaragua. They say that they can be sure that nearly all of our income will be spent in
Nicaragua on the people and groups who are featured in our newsletters. Although they admire the work of
larger charities they never feel such a close connection with their beneficiaries.

All the Santa Rosa trustees would like to thank Malcolm and Judy and the rest of their family for the support
which they have given to the Fund but also for the amount of pleasure and fun they have given us and our
supporters over many years.
SRF Newsletter No.53, July 2019, page 7
Following the last page, very appropriately, here are details of the next Santa Rosa Fund quiz to be run by
Malcolm and family.

The SANTA ROSA FUND presents…

QUIZ NIGHT
Friday 1st November 2019
Doors open 7 pm for 7.30 pm start

WHITCHURCH VILLAGE HALL


Whitchurch, Tavistock
£5 entry fee per person

Bring a bottle
Tea, coffee, cake available

Enter your team on the night or in advance


by calling Pat Mayston : 01822 840297

In aid of the Santa Rosa Fund (Reg. Charity no. 1028085)


Supporting educational initiatives in Nicaragua

SRF website (www.santarosafund.org)

The SRF has received a little (mild and friendly) criticism regarding its website. The essence of the criticism
is that we do not post news and information about the Fund and what it is doing every day or week. So we
wish to make clear to all our supporters and donors that the SRF website is essentially a static one. We
consider the website to be important as a point of reference and as a resource store or a source of
information; but it is not a dynamic media presence in the sense that it is updated every day or week. In fact,
it is normally updated just twice a year when we upload the latest newsletter and other reports onto the site.

SANTA ROSA FUND CONTACTS www.santarosafund.org

Chair: Pete Mayston, Rose Cottage, Tuckermarsh, Bere Alston, Yelverton, Devon PL20 7HB
Tel. 01822 840297 Email: pete@mayston.eclipse.co.uk
Secretary: Pat Blower, 4 Glebelands, Exminster, Exeter EX6 8AR
Tel. 01392 823646 Email: r.blower@btinternet.com
Treasurer: Pat Mayston – as for Pete (above), except email: mayston@waitrose.com
Twinning links representative: Rick Blower, 4 Glebelands, Exminster, Exeter EX6 8AR
Tel. 01392 823646 Email: r.blower@btinternet.com
Membership secretary: Martin Mowforth, 51 West St., Tavistock, Devon PL19 8JZ
Tel. 01822 617504 Email: mmowforth@plymouth.ac.uk

PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER BY DART PRINT, TAVISTOCK

SRF Newsletter No.53, July 2019, page 8