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The Americas Association for the Care of Children

Empowering Communities Globally works to reduce the impact of poverty increasing quality of life for children, families and communities through: Education programs/projects, Preventative health care and improved nutrition resources, Community development and support.

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Mama Beth's Sanitary Napkin Project

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Females
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent

Description

Let's keep girls in school. Mama Beths Orphanage has recently taken in another 40 children and the girls are struggling to stay in high school due to the lack of sanitary pads. AACC and Mama Beth are partnering with a local sewing cooperative to create a sustainable business making affordable washable sanitary pads for the girls. Kenny, AACC representative is currently working Kenya helping make this a reality! Thank you for your donation and care for our world.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The girls are remaining in secondary school, each year there is an increase in the girls graduating from secondary school, and the business is set up and providing affordable washable sanitary pads to the girls in the community.

Mama Beth's School Book Project

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
At-Risk Populations
Children (4-12 years)
Ethnic/Racial Minorities
Teachers

Description

The public school attended by the children from Mama Beth's does not have an adequate number of books for the children. The teachers spend their personal funds to purchase books and materials to use in the classes when the state and parents are unable to provide for the children. This project seeks to raise the funds for the purchase of books. The teachers and students are making the best out of a difficult situation, but we can help improve the situation for them. Our hope is to provide enough books so the children can share the books in groups of 3 and 4 to learn, resulting in improved test scores for the children. Higher scores will provide further incentive for the children to continue to enjoy their studies and encourage the children to become adults who contribute positively to their community.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

AACC will receive the receipts for the books purchased. Monthly updates will be provided describing the use of the books and the progress the children are achieving.

Orchid Garden School

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Families
Infants/Babies (under age 5)
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent
Single Parents
Teachers

Description

This partnership started by a memorial fund in honor of Katie Bartlett. Orchid Garden School is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) that provides early childhood development programs for the children of impoverished Nepali families. Founded by Mrs. Bina Basnet in 2006, it provides a safe and fun environment for the poverty-stricken children to discover, learn, and develop. Taking a comprehensive approach, the school provides nutrition, life skills, and support to the children.
Most of the children served are raised by mothers who must take-up menial jobs (laborer, vegetable vendor, domestic worker, etc.) to make ends meet, leaving insufficient time to cater to the needs of their children. By offering such strained parents a safe and positive place for their children to receive care, Orchid Garden School opens up more prospects both for the parents and children: helping them to break the vicious cycle of poverty.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Receipts, Photos, Reports from AACC members upon return from visits.

AACC Dental Program

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

AACC has provided preventative dental health programs, including efforts to increase access to dental care, as part of our community health efforts in under-served areas of Nicaragua.

With AACC support, APIEAT organizes monthly dental clinics in identified communities, working closely with a local dentist to triage dental care needs. Our local dentist provides direct services, including extractions, in cases of high need. The local dentist is also able to supervise the work of APIEAT and to offer his professional skills as needed. This collaboration has been highly effective in AACC's ability to provide a sustainable dental program in these communities with the support of donations to our organization. At present, hundreds of children and adults have participated in this ongoing program since 2012.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Established preventative dental clinics/education programs with strong community participation.

AACC/APIEAT preventative dental workshops and clinics have been well-received in the community. Increased community demand has resulted in an increase in services provided- 1 clinic per month to 3 clinics per month.

Community awareness of good dental hygiene and the effects on overall health has shown definite increase.

AACC Scholarship Program

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children ages 5 to 21
Families
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

The AACC Scholarship Program supports students in the Jalapa Valley, Nicaragua who are financially unable to continue school without assistance. Students and families apply to the program through a local community representative responsible for needs assessment and ongoing family and academic support. AACC financial support is needed for transportation, uniforms, shoes, school supplies and any additional school fees. Family participation and student commitment are considered critical to ensuring success in the program. We believe that education, both formal and practical knowledge, and community-based support are essential to impact the poverty cycle present in the lives of these students and their families.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

AACC formalized the Scholarship Program in 2011 and has supported approximately 20 students/families in Nicaragua each year since inception.

A majority of participating students have completed the academic year and progressed to the subsequent year of schooling. Multiple students in the program have graduated high school each year and the success rate of the program continues to increase. In years 2014-2016, a number of students who completed the high school program began attending college. The impact of consistent attendance in school has had significant impact on health, safety and overall growth and development for these students.

Scholarship students in Nicaragua have continued to participate in a cultural exchange programs with student peers from Colorado. Focus areas for the group included community projects (building fuel-efficient stoves, planting community gardens) and exploring health and wellness topics applicable to adolescents and young adults.

An additional 72 children receive support to attend school through Mama Beth's Orphanage, Kenya.

Global Therapy Exchange Project

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
Disabled, General or Disability unspecified
Families
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

Global Therapy Exchange provides rehabilitation therapy services and education programs to address the needs of children and adults with disability in local communities. There are greater than 800 under-served persons with neurological, congenital, physical, cognitive and behavioral disabilities in the Jalapa Valley, Nicaragua in critical need of education, support and equipment. Our focus continues to be in providing sustainable resources to local community providers and organizations.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Therapy/medical delegations (U.S. based) have provided assessment/ recommendations for home-based intervention and training in key areas to parents and local providers. Delegations have directly impacted children and families in more than 8 rural communities working in coordination with APIEAT and Los Pipitos.

Collaboration with Los Pipitos and Ministry of Education representatives to advocate for children and families impacted by disabilities.

AACC has provided education/training for the APIEAT group in Jalapa Nicaragua to support individuals with disabilities and the families caring for them.

Food Sustainability Program

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Families
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent

Description

AACC (Empowering Communities Globally) initiated the Food Sustainability Project in 2012 with several rural communities in the areas surrounding Jalapa, Nicaragua. Participating communities were provided with education and resource information on composting, planting, care of plants and harvesting seeds for family patio gardens. The current food sustainability program/educational topics are included within the APIEAT Community Development. Additional community education goals focus on nutrition, food sources, cooking practices, hygiene, potable water and preventative health practices.

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Evidence of Program's Success

The Food Sustainability Program success is demonstrated by an increase in collaboration of community members, sustained participation within the community, successful garden projects, weekly assessments and summary outcome reports for the project every 6 months. There are currently 3 communities actively participating in this project with positive outcomes.

APIEAT Community Development

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
Children birth to age 3
Families
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
People/Families with of People with Disabilities

Description

AACC developed the Community, Participation, Empowerment, Transformation (CPET) model and has implemented this model in the local community-based APIEAT program in the Jalapa Valley of Nicaragua. In English, APIEAT stands for the Association of Promoters for Integral Education with Love and Tenderness. The CPET model begins with home visits to the families in the communities of focus. Each family receives a minimum of 8 home visits. While building trusting relationships, specific needs are identified and information shared to help address the identified needs. Once trusting relationships have been established and the families are incorporating some of the knowledge and skills shared during their home visits, community workshops are provided.

The second step - the community workshops. The focus of the workshops are developed around the needs that are shared between families. For instance, in many communities, alternatives to physical punishment in guiding children's behavior is a commonly identified need. The community workshops are offered each week in a series of 4 workshops per topic (approximately one month per topic). The workshops provide a space for neighbors to share their stories and listen to others who have common concerns; to learn about alternatives together forming a support network within their neighborhood; build accountability within the community, and to build the capacity and process for brainstorming and creativity around future issues.

In addition, story hours are provided on a weekly basis echoing the knowledge and skills that are introduced to the adults of the community, utilizing the children's participation as community developers. Story hours for children parallel the process of the adult community workshops.

The third step in the CPET model is the community projects. Projects are activities with a defined start and end. During the community workshops, developing the participants' ideas APIEAT starts to co-develop neighborhood projects to address the community-identified needs. For example, in the community of Escambray, nutrition and dental hygiene have been strong concerns among many of the families. A sustainable food project developed as a way to address the food security concerns. Together, APIEAT and the local community developed and implemented the construction of community and backyard gardens. The project integrates local resources such as the local college for Agricultural studies, a local dentist, and health provider connections. In addition, APIEAT continues to visit homes and give community workshops on topics around related themes. Community workshop themes (APIEAT local site promoters have been trained in over 100 topics relevant to the local community) include the following:
Nutrition
Dental hygiene workshops are provided both for primary caregivers and during story hours for children.
Techniques to make potable water using the sun
How to address common illnesses including diarrhea and fevers
Cooking classes using the fresh vegetables from the gardens
Hygiene and sanitation in daily practices
Therapy for children with disabilities

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Overall program review occurs through annual home visits to communities receiving the program, surveys sent to families after they have completed services with APIEAT. The feedback provided is used to improve the quality of the program in the upcoming year. Program success includes not only the positive feedback from families and APIEAT members, but also witnessing the families increasing the quality of life for their children through the food security projects, the story hours and other programs. Program success has also been demonstrated by completion of multiple community projects to include the early childhood centers and school which AACC constructed with local community members.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.