Improving Lives: San Jose State Furnishes an Elementary School Near Managua, Nicaragua


San Jose State University (SJSU) in California has taken advantage of IRN’s Surplus Asset Reuse Program since 2010.  In that time SJSU has provided 6,300 items of surplus furnishings to nonprofit relief and development organizations through IRN.  Before SJSU started working with IRN, these furnishings – which have packed 35 tractor trailers top-to-bottom – would all have ended up in the landfill.

In mid-August 2012, the SJSU let IRN know they would have several hundred pieces of classroom furniture to dispose of after a renovation project.  These included student desks and chairs, file cabinets, bookshelves, work tables, and other classroom items no longer needed by the University.  They asked IRN to find a match for this inventory from IRN’s worldwide network of charitable recipients.

IRN identified and offered the SJSU inventory to charitable partners who are active in educational development.  The shipment was quickly claimed by IRN’s longtime partner Food for the Poor (FFP).  Through local partnerships and their own staff, FFP supports relief and development programs in XXX countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America.  Working in partnership with the American Nicaraguan Foundation, FFP matched the SJSU furnishings with the September 15 Elementary School near Managua, Nicaragua.  Coordinating the schedule with IRN, FFP ordered two overseas shipping containers to be put on trailers and dispatched to SJSU.  This would be a “live load” – that is, the furnishings would not pass through a warehouse, but would be sealed into the shipping containers in San Jose, and would not see daylight again until they were unloaded at their final destination.

At SJSU on September 25, 2012, an IRN loading crew packed the two containers completely full.  The loaded containers were trucked to the Port of Oakland, where they were hoisted onto a container-ship sailing a scheduled run to Central and South America.  Two weeks later, in mid-October, their sea journey ended at a pier in the Port of Managua, Nicaragua’s capital.  There the containers were taken off the ship, put back onto trailers, and pulled to the small town of Cierritas de Santo Domingo, not far from Managua.

In Cierritas, a team of ANF and local volunteers unloaded the two containers.  The team emptied the September 15 School of hundreds of pieces of dilapidated, broken furniture, and replaced them with the excellent-quality and excellent-condition furnishings from SJSU.


Here in words and photos is the feedback we received:

September 15 School, is a humble rural school, that offer free education. It is located in Las Cierritas de Santo Domingo, South West of the city of Managua. The children who attend this scholl are most very poor. Domarys Chamorro teaches students enrolled in the 6th grade, who have benefited from the donation of school tables.

The teacher says she is motivated to see that learning conditions for their students improved greatly with this donation. Previously, children had to sit at destroyed desks and chairs.

Domarys on behalf of their students, thanks the institutions that were involved in this donation that benefit the children who attend this school. It is a great blessing and

Professor Aurora de la Concepción Arauz teaches the children who attend the 1st grade in the same school. Because it is a school with very limited resources, the children have to share some school materials such as books, cards, etc.  Previously they had nowhere to keep all shared supplies, so the wind and dust entering the classroom (because do not have windows) was deteriorating everything. Now they have metal shelves that protect their supplies. Also in this cabinet they can store any other supporting material as necessary.

As soon as they received the furniture, the older tables they were using were removed. This donation has been a blessing for these children, because the previous furnitures were already deteriorated and they would have had to sit on the floor soon.

As seen in the photos, the children are very happy with donated furniture and they are committed to care for their new desks and keep them in good condition for the kids who will use them in the future.

Ms. Ileana Martinez thanks God and the donors for the opportunity she has to serve a school with a better environment that they all can be proud of.

Click here for a PDF of this feedback report

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