NICARAGUA: Hundreds of Elementary Students Benefit from School Furniture Donation
(MissionNewswire) Mary Help of Christians Elementary, a Salesian-run school in Granada, Nicaragua has new school and office furniture thanks to a recent donation made possible by a partnership between Salesian Missions and GRRO International, an organization focused on supporting surplus property distribution and commodity recycling.
Nicaragua is one of the least developed and poorest countries in Latin America, second only to Haiti, with more than 42 percent of its residents living in poverty, according to the World Bank. Poverty, although declining steadily in recent years, remains high. More than 80 percent of Nicaragua’s poor live in remote rural communities where access to basic services is a daily challenge.
After decades of political instability and vulnerability to natural hazards, the country has achieved a remarkable economic turnaround and is now focusing on innovative ways of reducing poverty. However, years of widespread poverty have taken their toll and many residents suffer from poor health conditions including HIV/AIDS. In addition, crime, violence against women, gang violence and high unemployment result in challenging economic and social conditions, particularly for young people and women.
The Mary Help of Christians Elementary School provides pre-kindergarten through grade 8 education for poor youth. Close to 500 elementary school students and their teachers benefited from a donation of three 40 foot containers of new furniture. The new furniture will be used in classrooms, administrative offices and at the school’s feeding program.
Education has proven to be an effective means of breaking the cycle of poverty while giving the most vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self-worth. Elementary and secondary education lays the foundation for early learning. The donated desks and chairs help to provide a more dignified and organized educational environment for students to complete their studies. As a result, students are often more focused on their classroom work and more prepared for their lessons.
“The children now have comfortable tables and chairs to use and are very happy with the improvement to their classrooms,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The furniture has contributed greatly to their learning environment and classroom discipline and has brought a smile to the faces of many of the young students. This donation has been a great contribution to the school.”
Salesian Missions’ partnership with GRRO International has provided valuable furniture, including desks, bookshelves, workstations, chairs, whiteboards, filing cabinets, and more to equip Salesian classrooms, offices and administrative buildings. In addition to this most recent donation, the partnership has made furniture donations possible at Salesian programs in Paraguay and El Salvador.
“There was a clear match between the needs of Salesian-run programs and schools and the supplies of surplus furniture to which GRRO International has access. We appreciate their partnership and their help providing for Salesian schools in need,” adds Fr. Hyde.
GRRO International, based in Beverly, Massachusetts, partners with hundreds of U.S. and global recipient organizations, providing sustainable and responsible reuse programs to a wide variety of clients nationwide. The environmentally-sound, socially conscious and fiscally beneficial programs assist in the redistribution of millions of pounds of no longer needed assets.
World Bank – Nicaragua