We are turning 20! YES, it's been 20 years since Fundación A. Jean Brugger began its work in San Juan del Sur with the Uniform Project.
Soon after she arrived in San Juan, Jean Brugger started working with Lilliam Reyes to provide school uniforms and shoes to children in rural communities. The very first delivery was in February 2000 to the children of the communities of Papaturro and Bernardino.
At that time, if a child did not have a uniform, they could not attend school, which made it difficult for the children from families with limited resources to learn and gain skills.
Lilliam had created a local women’s group called Asociación de Mujeres Bahía, which empowered women by teaching them new skills, including sewing. For the Uniform Project, the women would go to a community, measure the children, purchase fabric, and sew the uniforms. The day of delivery was celebrated by the entire community.
In 7 years, the Uniform Project provided uniforms to more than 1000 children in 21 rural communities and 3 of the poorest neighborhoods of San Juan del Sur. In 2006 Nicaraguan law changed and uniforms were no longer a requirement to attend public schools in the country.
In celebration of the anniversary, we visited El Carrizal, where uniforms had been delivered in 2006. We contacted the young people who had appeared in a photo with Jean and they all enthusiastically agreed to meet and take a new photo. Thank you to Esperanza Toval and Belkys Guillen for helping organize the celebration in El Carrizal.
The Uniform Project was supported by various donors, including the Sunrise O’Fallon Rotary Club (O’Fallon, Illinois), which continues to support the Fundación to this day.
Assisting San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, through education and opportunity