Update: Civil Unrest in Nicaragua
As violence and civil unrest continues, our family in NPH Nicaragua remains safe and continues to pray for their country.
Reported by Alex Hanel, Senior Communication Specialist, NPH International
Thursday, June 28, 2018
For more than two months, civil unrest and violence has devastated the country of Nicaragua. Our NPH family has been and remains safe, with our children calm and secure within the NPH home.
Our local team at NPH Nicaragua took quick action to ensure the safety of children, staff and volunteers since the start of the protests that turned violent. Since then, the team has been carefully evaluating the situation and safety has been the top priority. Along with the rest of the country of Nicaragua and with our NPH community, they had hoped that this difficult situation would quickly improve and peace would be restored throughout the country.
Nicaraguan universities have cancelled in-person classes in the capital city of Managua due to the civil unrest still present throughout the country. However, there are some universities that have found a way to continue their students’ education by offering online classes. This has provided an opportunity to many NPH university students to continue moving forward on projects and homework for school.
While some university students have decided to come to Casa Padre Wasson, the NPH Nicaragua home, others have decided to stay in Managua in their own homes. NPH Nicaragua has helped students in both locations with financial support to go toward food and other basic necessities.
At our NPH home, Casa Padre Wasson, the onsite elementary and secondary NPH school classes restarted on June 25 for the many students who are now able to attend. For the community students who are not able to attend for safety reasons, NPH has hired an Hermano Mayor (“Older Brother”) who was raised at NPH to do home visits, and provide the students with a homework guide, tutoring and extra academic support, based on a study guide utilizing the Ministry of Education’s approved subjects and curriculum.
NPH caregivers and Year of Service youths have helped to maintain a positive mood and environment for the children living in the home. We are grateful to our entire NPH family on the ground, who are working hard to ensure our children move through this momentous moment in their country with as little impact to their physical, emotional, or educational development as possible.
Unfortunately, there is still violence and risk in visiting the country of Nicaragua, and there is uncertainty as to when the situation will stabilize. For these reasons, visits to NPH Nicaragua have been cancelled for the remainder of 2018. Our team is working hard to constantly reevaluate the situation on the ground, assure the safety of our family, and then assess when the international NPH family will be able to safely return to visit.
While NPH is not involved in any of the protests, we remain in steadfast prayer for a swift return of peace in Nicaragua.
Father Wasson began NPH with the mission of looking out for the “least of Jesus” brothers and sisters, and we are reminded that it is very often the very least of us who are most strongly affected when violence erupts. “While it would be easy to despair, based on Matthew 25:40, Father Wasson always calls us to respond and see the face of Christ in the hungry, thirsty, naked, those who are sick, in prison or without shelter,” states Reinhart Koehler, NPH International’s Board President. “I admire how our NPH teams over the years have responded to the terrible earthquakes in Haiti and Mexico, with rebuilding not only our own homes and facilities, but reaching out to many victims to help them piece their lives back together again. I greatly appreciate Marlon Velasquez, National Director of Nicaragua, who manages our NPH Family through the chaos of road blocks and generalized violence to keep the lives of our NPH Family going and all our family members safe in the midst of social unrest.”
We are grateful for the support of our global NPH Family during this difficult time. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safety of our children in our home. And we ask you to join us in prayer for a swift return to peace.
Monday, July 23, 2018
Civil unrest has plagued the country of Nicaragua and violence has taken many lives since this past April. The NPH Nicaragua family remains safe, and the students have been able to complete their first semester of classes at the onsite school. They just began their second semester of classes on Monday, July 16. The universities remain closed, but many university students are able to continue their studies through online classes. Some university youths are also at the home, supporting the staff and caring for the children. Please join us in prayer for the people of Nicaragua, for lasting peace, and for the continued safety of the NPH Nicaragua Family.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Universities remain closed. Some of the university youths continue online classes and have been encouraged to do so by NPH Nicaragua leadership. Other university students have decided to stay at the main home, Casa Padre Wasson, and offer support to the staff and youths.
NPH Nicaragua has been in contact with the families in Jinotepe, by phone. The situation in Jinotepe has calmed down, but weeks ago the situation was very violent. There are still paramilitary groups present in the neighborhood. Certain students are still not able to attend school and remain cautious.
NPH Nicaragua is equipped with fuel, food and water until the beginning of September.
Second semester classes began on July 16, and 72 of 111 community students are attending classes. While violence is still rampant in other parts of the country, the area where NPH Nicaragua is calmer and considered safe for many students to attend classes.
Friday, August 31, 2018
Currently 103 out of 111 community students are attending classes at the NPH Nicaragua school.
Although the home didn’t activate the bus that picks up the children in the communities as a security measure, they are going to school. Parents have been bringing their children to school, and this way NPH doesn’t expose a bus full of children on the road, and each family can evaluate the situation in their surroundings to make sure it is safe.
For children who cannot travel to the school, NPH is still working with an Hermano Mayor who visits these children once a week to give guidelines for school work and to check-in on them.
The bus will now start on Monday, September 3, 2018, to pick up all children.
Universities remain closed. Some of the NPH university students continue online classes and have been encouraged to do so by NPH Nicaragua leadership. Other university students have decided to stay at the main home, Casa Padre Wasson, and offer support to the staff and youths.
NPH Nicaragua is equipped with fuel, food and water until the beginning of October.
On October 5, the Nicaraguan crisis reached 175 days.
Given the social, political and economic situation of the country, the home is still using precautionary measures in all activities. The local team is regularly monitoring and verifying information to be able to respond actively in case of a transition.
- The home continues the implementation of an emergency menu, which consists of having the basic food at the home and especially food that can be stored, such as rice, beans or canned goods.
- External activities continue to be suspended.
- College students were oriented to continue in their additional technical programs.
- Casa Padre Wasson, the main home, will not count on the security staff that was hired during this past month, due to budget. That means that the security measures at the home are being reduced in October in order to use the budget efficiently and not cut other basic needs of the children. Hiring the security until the end of the year will cost around $25,0000 of extra funds.
- Now responsible for monitoring irregular situations, Reynaldo Matus will support risk mitigation.
- Until September, NPH received 56% of their projected local in-kind donations. Due to the crisis and the impact on local economy, companies in the country are being conservative and cautious. ANF (American Nicaraguan Foundation) a recurrent donor of food for NPH, state different problems they are facing with their donations and the products, and that is why they have to reduce in-kind donations until the situation improves.
- Local income of NPH Nicaragua has been affected in 2018, having a current deficit of $61,334 just in the local commitment. There is a projected deficit of $95,000 for the operational budget.
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Photos from top: NPH Nicaragua has hired an Hermano Mayor to visit our students in the surrounding communities. Government-approved study materials ensure that their education has not come to a halt; Year of service and university youths have helped organize activities to keep our children occupied and happy during their free times.