This year Fundación A. Jean Brugger developed a new Life Skills Program to provide more educational opportunities for our scholarship students. The latest addition to this program is an intensive Advanced Excel course. Sixteen current students and four graduates are taking the 30-hour course, given in five six-hour sessions. The first session was held Friday, October 26. This course was developed in partnership with the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI).
The course is being taught by UPOLI professors. This partnership has been made possible due to the close working relationship that the staff of Fundación A. Jean Brugger have developed with UPOLI over the last 12 years. Every student will receive a certificate for completion of the course. Barrio La Planta Project (BPP), located in San Juan del Sur’s ‘House of Culture,’ has graciously provided the use of their facilities and computers for this course. We thank Savannah Armstrong, director of BPP, and Professor Denis Calderón, director of the Casa de Cultura, for collaborating with us to make this program possible. We also want to thank each of the donors who helped make the Life Skills Program a reality. This Program also includes a four month, four-hours-a-week English course.
The Life Skills Program is designed to develop greater professional skills and create more opportunities for our students in the workplace.
Fundación A. Jean Brugger scholarship students in the careers of law and the humanities have developed presentations on the issue of human trafficking for their community service program. Because San Juan del Sur is close to the border with Costa Rica, the young people of this region are vulnerable to traffickers. The scholarship students have developed this program with the aim of preventing young people from falling victim to the crime of trafficking in persons.
The FAJB students are giving talks in different classes at Stella Maris, with the program adjusted to the age level of the students. On September 26 they gave a talk to 21 students, aged 16 to 19 years, who are in their final year of high school. On October 4 they presented to 44 sixth-grade students, and they will be speaking to a third class on October 17.
The community service group has also spoken at a church in Ostional, and will be visiting a school in Pochote later this year. The FAJB students worked hard to create a compelling presentation, and the Stella Maris students were very attentive, with lots of questions and comments. Part of the discussion involved Facebook and other social media, and the importance of being cautious about who you speak to on social media, and the kind of images and information you post. This initiative is a coordinated effort between the Stella Maris Educational Center and Fundación A. Jean Brugger in order to help prevent young people from falling victim to this crime.
"Trafficking in persons" means the recruitment, transport, transfer, or reception of persons, using threats or the use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deceit. It means abuse of power or abuse of a situation of vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation. ‘Exploitation’ includes, at a minimum, prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices analogous to slavery, servitude, or the removal of organs.
Scholarship students in the Economic Sciences continue their community service with the Project Bio-clean: empowerment through environmental education.
Scholarship students in Tourism and International Trade continue with their community service projects.
Scholarship students in Legal Sciences and Social Work give talks about trafficking in persons in the community El Ostional.
On Sunday, August 26, the medical science students of Fundación A. Jean Brugger gave a seminar on reproductive health, sexuality, contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases in the El Bastón community north of San Juan del Sur.
15 teenagers and mothers between 17 and 52 years old participated in this activity. The FAJB students used the material and information they learned in the trainings with Dr. Álvaro Cortes Gómez, and each one presented a particular topic, using visual materials they had prepared.
Kimberly Lopez spoke about the changes that occur in the body during puberty, Josseline Romero described the types of contraceptives available and explained what a Pap test entails and why it is important. The participants asked many questions and there was a very lively conversation about sexuality.
Kimberly and Josseline demonstrated the procedure for using the Days for Girls kits, which are washable sanitary napkins.
All the participants received kits, and many of the women also received kits for their daughters. At the end of the training, mothers and young people were asked to share this information with their friends and to be counselors to their daughters; to use the knowledge they had acquired to help avoid teen-age pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and other diseases due to poor personal hygiene.
Josselin Romero, who is studying dentistry, took the opportunity to show participants the appropriate method for brushing teeth. 10 children received toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Thank you to Heidi Glantzberg for bringing the Days for Girls program to San Juan del Sur, and to Nancy McCollum and the Downtown Houston group of Days for Girls for sewing the beautiful kits.
For Fundación A. Jean Brugger it is very important to strengthen communication and the sense of co-responsibility with the parents of scholarship students, via regular conversations about the responsibilities and obligations of both parties. The Fundación staff convened a parents’ meeting on August 17, with the main purpose of discussing with the parents the impact the closing of the universities, due to the socio-political crisis in Nicaragua, has had on their children’s scholarships. Alvaro Novoa, the director of Social Programs, told parents that although university classes are suspended for the majority of students, and funds are not being disbursed, the scholarships remain active for when classes resume, either this year or the next. Mr. Novoa also told the parents that the Fundación continues to engage the students with the community service projects. In addition, a special program has been created and implemented to give the students another way to use this time productively.
This includes a 4-month intensive English course in which 28 students are participating in two levels, beginner and intermediate. The students include 22 of our current scholarship recipients, 3 former scholarship holders, and 3 young people of the community whose universities are closed. Other special programs are being developed, including seminars on entrepreneurship and job-seeking skills. Mr. Novoa asked the parents to support and encourage their children to participate in these educational programs of personal and professional growth, to take advantage of the time available because of the suspension of clases.
The Fundación is making these additional investments for the benefit of the scholarship students thanks to the collaboration and / or donation of many friends and sponsors of Fundación A. Jean Brugger
Nicaragua has been mired in a serious socio-political crisis since mid-April. Universities throughout Nicaragua have suspended classes for the welfare and safety of students. Our scholarship students have been affected by the suspension of classes for almost five months.
Given this current reality and in order to take advantage of this free time of our scholarship students, Fundación A. Jean Brugger has created special programs to complement their educational development. One of the special programs is an intensive English course, which started on July 23. The English clases are taking place at the bilingual school Escuela Adelante. 25 students, both active scholarship students and professional graduates of Fundación A. Jean Brugger, are enrolled.
The classes take place twice a week, for two hours each day. The students are divided into 2 groups: beginner level (Monday and Wednesday 2:00-4:00 PM) and intermediate level (Tuesday and Thursday 3:30-5:30 PM). Our students are very excited because they know the value of speaking English in their future professional careers.
Fundación A. Jean Brugger thanks each of the donors who have supported this educational initiative. We would also like to thank Escuela Adelante for collaborating with us by providing a special discounted rate that has made these classes possible.
Assisting San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, through education and opportunity