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Sí A La Vida

Sí A La Vida is a Nicaragua-based organization helping kids on the street. From their website...

In recent years, social conditions in Nicaragua have changed. There are no longer kids living around the markets of Managua, begging for food and sniffing glue. Most “street kids” actually live at home, at least at night. Many of the kids coming to Sí a la Vida in recent years have been brought in by their despairing parents who see them getting into trouble, avoiding school, and slipping into “the world of the streets.”

Consequently, Sí a la Vida has changed from a residential program, rescuing and rehabilitating street kids, to a prevention program - working with kids who are still living with their families, but are slipping into lives of school truancy, drug abuse, petty crime, and ultimately, failure. As always, Sí a la Vida will help kids to turn around their lives, but now in the context of family and neighborhood, helping them and their families to cope with the stress of living in one of the poorest nations in the Americas. This change is also consistent with new directives from the Nicaraguan Ministry of the Family stating that children should not be placed in residential care unless there are no other options.

Sí a la Vida is working with “day kids” on Ometepe Island as well as in Managua. Not surprisingly, there are many kids on Ometepe that have the same problems as the kids in Managua, including school truancy, vagrancy, and petty crime. Thus the center on Ometepe Island continues to be an important part of the project, but it is now serving Ometepe kids rather than kids transferred from Managua.

Sí a la Vida includes girls as well as boys. In the past, girls were referred to other projects because it was not feasible to include them in the residential program. Now Sí a la Vida can help them as well. Having girls in the program has also provided some important educational opportunities, including training and modeling for how young men and women can interact in positive, mutually respectful, and non-violent ways.

Sí a la Vida’s program is based on the Si, yo puedo! model developed by Nicole and Joel Espinoza. Nicole is a social worker who volunteered at the project, and Joel is the son of longtime Sí a la Vida social worker, Rosario Poveda. Key elements of the model include:

  1. Increasing school attendance, reducing drop-out rates, and providing academic support;
  2. Offering engaging activities after school to decrease the likelihood of involvement in negative social activities such as gang membership and drug use;
  3. Educating youth and families about non-violent conflict resolution;
  4. Improving family interactions by providing in-home counseling;
  5. Providing parenting classes and parenting support groups;
  6. Providing individual counseling for the boys and girls as needed.

In 2018, SORVO contributed $500 dollars to support his program 

Friends of the Dominican Republic

Friends of the Dominican Republic raises money to support Peace Corps projects. From their website...

“We connect our Peace corps community to promote appreciation of and service to the people of the Dominican Republic”

Friends of the Dominican Republic (FDR), is a non-profit group made up primarily of former Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in the Dominican Republic. Through two of our primary programs we provide small grants to support projects and programs involving current Peace Corps Volunteers and the Dominican people with whom they work. We do this through two FDR program funds- the Community Challenge Fund and the Program Support Fund- supported with donations from our members and others. Each fund has a different emphasis and they are designed to complement each other. 

In 2018, SORVO contributed $500 dollars to support this program.