Although we haven’t had volunteers here at project Limon since August, we’ve been making great strides in the program. We’ve completed a “Kids in Focus” preventative medicine program with the help of Maia Freudenberger, an intern from FSD, and we have begun presenting it to local schools with our Outreach Coordinator Yanira Obando. Maia worked extremely hard to prepare and present a program that is culturally sensitive as well as locally relevant. Yanira reports that the children have been very well behaved and extremely receptive to the lessons about personal hygiene, microbes, and nutrition among others. Yanira has worked very hard on this project and her relationship with teachers and students reflect the dedication she has to the “Kids in Focus” program. The school year is coming to an end, but we’ve already presented the program to schools for the following school year, and we’re looking forward to including volunteers in this exciting program. Another exciting development is the changes being made to the Casa de Refugio community center in Las Salinas. The community has graciously offered the use of the building for FIMRC programming. We’ve decided to move forward with a pediatric health program to bring specialized pediatric care to the community. The community center building needs some improvements, and we’ve already begun work on this aspect. The bars on all of the windows have been sanded and repainted, the doors have been fixed and had new locks installed, and new windows have been installed in the room that will serve as the office. Furniture is being made by local woodworkers at a discounted cost. New electrical wiring, a fresh coat of paint, and a medicinal herb garden remain to be completed. The community has been great in offering free and low cost labor as they know that this program will greatly benefit their children.
The interview process has begun to hire the first FIMRC doctor in Nicaragua! Several candidates have been identified, and we are currently conducting interviews to choose the best option for FIMRC and the local community. The pediatric health program will work on a referral system with local government clinics as well as area private clinics. We hope to have the doctor in place soon, so that we can start treating local children. The doctor will begin working out of the government run Las Salinas Health Post while the casa de refugio will serve as FIMRC headquarters, including a volunteer space. Future plans to convert the casa de refugio into a standalone FIMRC clinic are currently being developed.
The response that we’ve had in the community so far has been very positive. Community leaders, teachers, parents and health care workers have all expressed their gratitude and excitement at the prospect of FIMRC continuing to work in the community. The local community organizations have been instrumental in getting the project to the point it is at now, and will continue to be a valuable tool to help improve the lives of Nicaraguan children.
I’m continually amazed and appreciative of the effort put forth by local community leaders and public health workers in helping to make FIMRC’s goals become a reality. The nurse at Las Salinas Health Post, Martita, along with community leaders Marcia, Adela, Rosi and Soltero are truly inspiring in their selflessness, patience and energy and they are an asset to the project.
-Rob Orton Field Operations Manager, Nicaragua