Dear Supporter,

Covid and the ongoing political situation continue to make it difficult for us to operate normally in Nicaragua. I was, however, delighted to hear that an old friend of the Trust, living in La Barra, has been fully vaccinated with three doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Teams have been coming upriver to La Barra and Karawalla offering vaccinations. Covid has taken a terrible toll on these remote areas. So hopefully, with this vaccination programme being implemented, the hold this ghastly disease has had over the country will start to wane.

The new school year has now started in Nicaragua. Once again the Trust, under the supervision of Roxanna, has provided nearly 300 school uniforms for some of Bluefield’s poorest children, allowing them the chance of an education. Valeria is arranging the delivery of more stationery supplies to the schools which the Trust has built and supports. This time we are expanding our help to include a Secondary School at San Sebastian.

The Mother and Toddler group in Santa Rosa continues to work well. The Vocational Centre provides classes teaching adults how to make Piñatas. We hope the Centre will develop a closer link with Paz y Esperanza school, allowing them to provide a range of extracurricular activities.

We are helping to build a new school in Ometepe. At present the classes are being taught in the teachers’ houses! The community is building the new school, with the Trust providing the funding and materials for the roof. We are also lending Alvaro’s services and our truck to help with the construction. I hope some photos will be available on the website shortly.

We continue to provide funds for a feeding programme and Casa Rahab. The girls who attend Casa Rahab are trying to escape a life of the most horrible exploitation and abuse. It is lovely to be able to report that one of the girls has recently graduated from school, got a job and hopes to enrol at University shortly.

On the health side, we are supporting another ‘up river’ medical and dental trip run by our colleague Dr Kelly. The new clinic we hope to build at Torsuani is still in the design stage. As you may recall this is a very remote area which is going to make the construction challenging. There should be more details next month.

Here in the UK the Ross Shop is up and running, secured by a 3-year lease. It is open five days a week. Thank you for all the volunteers who run it. If anyone is interested in helping out please contact us through admin@peaceandhope.org.uk.

We are still looking for appropriate organisations to which we can donate some of our stored medical equipment. We have an abundance of hospital beds, mattresses, wheelchairs and walking aids at our warehouse in Ross which we will shortly have to vacate. Unfortunately, despite Valeria’s best efforts, we cannot get permission at present to transport this valuable equipment to Nicaragua. As I write, we have a promising link with a Romanian charity, but we could do with further contacts. One recurring theme is that it’s very hard to ship goods to non-coastal parts of Africa – customs and logistics issues – but we keep looking.

I am hopeful that, with the vaccination programme being rolled out across the country and the political situation calming down, we can soon start to return to normal. Thank you so much to our volunteers, donors and supporters who make all this work possible.

Best wishes, Will

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