GOCARE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity headquartered in Ventura, CA. Founded in 2001, the organization empowers adults and children living in Nicaragua with the fundamental belief that citizens may live a self-empowered life through the power of education.
Throughout its tenure, GOCARE has worked closely with local residents and communities to create and implement educational and economic development programs into its curriculum, which includes adult education through reading and math, pre-school, day care, computer instruction, English instruction and vocational training.
In addition to being a U.S. Charitable organization, GOCARE is also recognized as a registered Non Governmental Organization in Nicaragua. Following is our registration number: #5080 folio# 4129-4173 Tomo III, Libro: Doceavo (12°).
GOCARE creates opportunities to reduce poverty and inspire people towards independence through culturally responsive education, mentoring and awareness. The “Come Back to Give Back” program produces community leaders that teach students to become mentors in their own right. Now that’s education!
How It Started
GOCARE was originally established by a group of Rotarians who traveled to Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua to support and develop programs for people living in extreme poverty. GOCARE began its work in 2001 when its founder Jan Lindsay saw the need to create an individualized and sustainable model community program to help people in rural areas empower their lives through education.
When Jan first started working in Nicaragua, he, like most others, was overwhelmed by the amount and depth of poverty and need he experienced there. On his first trip, he was introduced to the community of Pantanal, outside of Granada.
He was impacted deeply when a group of women and children of Granada shared their story of how they were living off the resources of the local dump. They were asking for help; Jan felt powerless at the time and was moved to find a solution to help the people he met. Jan, as an economist, began studying the issues of world poverty in depth. What became apparent was that there were more unknowns than knowns.
It became Jan’s mission to create a community centered organization that could work together and pool resource and knowledge to empower people through education. GOCARE embraced the philosophy that education provides the path to eliminate poverty. Education empowers people to help themselves and through this model the “Come Back to Give Back” model was born.
GOCARE is a legal nongovernmental organization that has been recognized by the Nicaragua Ministry of Education as an exemplary model for youth and adult education courses. To date, GOCARE has helped more than 300 students graduate from its programs with the core philosophy of the “Come Back to Give Back” mentorship and leadership. While pursuing college degrees, students become mentors and leaders within their own Nicaraguan community and help give back by teaching others to aid people out of extreme poverty into a bright, successful future.