Columbia University Helps Furnish Three Nicaraguan Schools

Prepared by: Maria Chiara De Valle, the American-Nicaraguan Foundation

Alberto Cabrales School

This school provides 727 children their education from preschool to 6th grade.

In Photo 1, Wilmer Antonio Zamora, 12 years old and in 5th grade, is sitting at a chair-desk from Columbia.  Before these chairs arrived, he told ANF staff that he had to rush to get first into class, in order to have a chance on a good chair.  Otherwise he would have to be resigned to sit on some old broken chair. Sometimes this caused conflicts among Wilmer and his classmates, because they would all go for the best chairs.  Now he and his classmates have their own chairs; he is happy he won’t have to fight any more and enjoys doing his school work comfortably in his own chair.

Another student, Justin Brayan Martinez, 14 years old, was getting low grades due to many errors he made while doing his school work.  He explained to ANF staff that this was caused by the fact that he always had to sit on a chair that was broken or without a writing surface.  He is happy now that he can always have a good chair and desk, and hopes to improve in his studies during the school year.

Photo 2 shows the library where students and staff have all benefitted from desks and seating from Columbia.  Before, there were few tables where the students could read and write.  Now there are enough for all students using the library.

Efrain Tijerino School

This school assists 727 children, most of them living in poverty.  It was founded in 1872. It gives classes two sessions both morning and evening.

“I am very happy with my new chair.  We always had to work on a broken chair or a chair without a writing board which made the work harder.  This is a gift from God, because we have never received such an important support as this”. These are the words of Milagros Cristina Orozco, 8 years old, student of third grade at Efrain Tijerino School (Photo 3).

Erickson Tomas Romero shared his sadness of not having a good chair in school. He told us that some other children’s parents gave their children their own chair to bring to school.  His economical situation, however, is harder than that of his classmates, because his parents don’t have a stable job.  This is why he couldn’t have a chair of his own.  But now thanks to Columbia’s generosity he does

(Photo 4).  He feels happy and grateful for this great deed, since the school is big and needed a big support.

Erickson’s mom told ANF staff, when she went to pick up her son, how surprised she was by seeing the kids sitting on good chairs and didn’t have words to thank, she had asked God to allow these kind of good deeds for the education of her country.

Rafaela Dervalles School

Karla Alonso, school director, told ANF staff about the Rafaela Dervalles School. Here they take care of 115 handicapped children, giving them education and assistance with life skills.  Deafness, autism and other developmental disorders are among the conditions seen among the children living at the School.

The Rafaella Dervalles School was filled with broken, repaired desks and chairs, and there were not enough so students had to share.  Columbia’s furniture made it possible for every student to have their own desk (Photo 6).  The first and second grade teacher (Photo 7) was totally surprised and happy with her new file cabinet.  She explained that the school did not have any file cabinets and could have never obtained one on their own.  She was resigned to keeping the children’s files on a table, risking them to get wet, torn, mixed up, or stolen. Now she can keep an orderly, safe record for each child, making her work much more organized, easy, and efficient.   Besides, she says, it gives the classroom a touch of elegance.

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