Our mission is simple but our impact is huge.
We commenced operations in Nicaragua in 2000. The bulk of our operations are in the community of Pantanal which adjoins the City of Granada in Nicaragua. This community is characterized by extreme poverty. We currently work with the village council and meet with them regularly to evaluate new and existing GOCARE programs. Our professional staff, however, meets with individual members of the council on an as needed basis to implement and monitor our programs.
Our Adult Literacy Program, which has been certified by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, provides adult literacy classes to over 100 adult students in the communities of Pantanal and La Chureca. Adults have the opportunity to learn basic literacy skills and remedial secondary education. The literacy classes help the people of Pantanal and La Chureca to gain access to better employment opportunities, improve the lives of their families and ultimately help improve the quality of life in Nicaragua.
You can change a life. For the price of a cup of coffee you can impact the life and family of another. Even a little matters a lot. With your donation of just $5, you give people the power to write new stories for their lives and their communities.
Our Preschool was created after we were approached by a number of parents living in Pantanal who repeatedly expressed their mutual concerns regarding their lack of child care and inability to work. Many mothers were having difficulty earning desperately needed funds because their children were not yet of age to attend public schools.
The program has been instrumental, not only in education and caring for the young ones, but in giving mothers the opportunity to work and ensure a better future for their children. In addition, studies have shown that children exposed to education at an early age (i.e. prev 5 years) had lower elementary dropout rates once they commenced elementary school. Most importantly, it prevents older children from dropping out of school to care for siblings while their parents are working.
The 0 to 5 Curriculum focuses on the following skills and development:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication, Language and Literacy Development
- Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
GOCARE’s computer literacy program provides students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with computers, Microsoft Office and strengthen their computer skills. This is an exciting and unique learning environment that the local students really enjoy and look forward to. Technology is an ever advancing factor in the business world today and preparing our students for the future and better employment opportunities is a vital component of our program.
Our students, grouped by age, learn Microsoft Office. In Granada, 35 secondary-level teens are taught each cycle at a computer academy. In Pantanal, 48 middle-school students and 12 adults learn at our own computer lab, taught by our university program students. We also offer computer classes to our older pre-school kids.
Each year, GOCARE brings over 80 youth together for a special leadership training camp. GOCARE runs an extensive 3-day camp in the mountains to teach youth important leadership skills. This project is conducted with the assistance of the local Rotary Clubs who provide instructors. Most of the attendees are from the poorest barrios and some are special invitees of the Rotary Clubs. In addition, there are 20 counselors who are previous graduates of the program that “Come Back to Give Back” and teach others strong leadership skills such as team work, public speaking and ethics. The program is based on the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) model.
Our university students have implemented a mentoring program for at risk primary students from Pantanal. The GOCARE university students ,in conjunction with the public primary schools serving Pantanal, identified students needing mentoring. They approached the families and offered a “contract”. In return for GOCARE providing uniforms, shoes and school supplies, the at risk students and their families agreed that the students would be at the Community Center 5 afternoons a week to work with the mentoring university students.
Our English language instruction began when we engaged a local English teacher in Granada to conduct special English language instruction classes for kids from Pantanal. As with the computer instruction, the kids who attended these classes were selected by the village council.
GOCARE believes learning English is an invaluable skill for the disadvantaged people of Nicaragua because it gives them the opportunity to enter work fields, such as the growing tourism industry, that they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Our English proficiency courses substantially promote the goal of sustainable living, while ensuring to maintain and preserve their voice and culture.
Currently, Basic English is taught to 38 middle school students by our university program students at the Community Center in Pantanal. In our two-year program in Granada, Nicaragua, 34 secondary level teens are taught English through an English academy. We are also offering English classes to our pre-school kids.
We provide pre-university entrance exam preparation courses to prepare students to pass the entrance exam to the National Universities. Tuition is free and if accepted, a student will also receive books, supplies, and transportation.
GOCARE provides full-tuition university scholarships to local youth from communities in Nicaragua. The organization follows the progress of students in the community programs and encourages youth to continue their education with university level studies. GOCARE scholarships are awarded based on financial need, academic promise and commitment to promote community development where the students live. Our university students study in cities near their village and remain vested in their communities. The “Come Back to Give Back” philosophy encourages the university scholars to return to the community centers to teach classes to youth and adults to help promote education and growth in the local communities. We provide university scholarships including supplies and transportation for 35 students who also function as teachers and helpers at the Community Center in Pantanal. For about $2 per day you can provide a university education for a young scholar and be a part of the transformation of his or her community.
Our beautiful community center consists of a computer lab, library, offices and an auditorium. In the afternoon, tables are set up on the covered patio where students study and use the library. It is also used by outside organizations for seminars (such as prenatal care and dental hygiene) which 300-500 people attend each month.
We have implemented a mentoring and tutoring program for at risk primary students from the El Pantanal community. This program will also be offered in our other Learning centers. GOCARE’S university students work with the public primary schools in the area and identify and offer contracts to candidates that would benefit from additional help to meet education requirements.