Challenges and compassion
In April Nicaragua’s President, Daniel Ortega, proposed changes to the country’s social security system which led to riots and demonstrations across the country. Despite President Ortega withdrawing the proposal, the unrest has continued and has resulted in the deaths of several hundred people. The difficult and sometimes dangerous situation has at times made it hard for our team to continue caring for the people of Nicaragua. Despite this they remain determined to do the best job they can for the people they serve.
High levels of unemployment in the town of Bluefields mean that it is vital for the young people who live there to receive a good education. Through our sponsorship scheme we enable children to attend private primary and secondary schools where the standard of education is higher than at state schools. We also help young people to go to university if they wish to continue their studies.
All of our sponsored children and their families are cared for by Margaret Storey who provides practical and pastoral support and even helps some students practise their English! This year 63 children attended primary school, 58 went to secondary school and 13 students have been studying at university. In addition we provided support to 12 children and their families on the island of Ometepe.
Hogar de Fe Orphanage
The Hogar de Fe Orphanage, run by Isaac Blandón, provides a loving, Christian home to up to 50 children and young people. Whatever their background the children are welcomed into the Hogar de Fe family where they receive support with their education, including additional lessons in music, IT and English. The children also receive regular medical and dental check ups as well as sessions with the Orphanage’s psychologist if they need them. The team at the Orphanage also care for the children’s spiritual lives through daily devotions and by involving them in the Sunday school and youth group at the local church. SIFT supports the work of Hogar de Fe through our sponsorship scheme.
Healthcare on Ometepe
The affordable health care provided by our medical team is more important than ever as families are under additional financial pressure due to the current political and economic situation in Nicaragua. This year Dr Sandra Villagra and our team of nurses treated 3,671 patients, providing them with free medicines. Our team have also been able to provide a listening ear, advice and prayer for their patients. Our luncheon club continues to help combat loneliness amongst the elderly and our club for expectant mothers educates these women about pregnancy and how to take care of their families.
SIFT continues to have a good relationship with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health and earlier this year, following an outbreak of Hepatitis A in two villages on Ometepe, our medical team participated in a campaign to raise awareness of the causes of this disease.
Casa Rahab (Rahab’s House) is a Christian day centre in the city of Granada which supports young women whose lives have been affected by involvement in the sex trade. The team, led by Valeria Lopez (pictured, right, with her team), seek to help the girls rebuild their lives by providing them with individual programmes of counselling, supporting them to finish their education and teaching them practical and vocational skills.
SIFT supports the work of Casa Rahab by funding the salaries of the centre’s sewing teacher and psychologist.
Children living on the island of Ometepe are at risk of malnutrition as they do not have a balanced diet. In order to combat this SIFT supports a feeding programme which provides primary school children in Las Pilas and Urbaite with high-vitamin milk twice a week. The programme, which is attended by around 45 children, also provides them with a nutritious hot meal once a week.
At each session the children also enjoy singing action songs and listening to a Bible story whilst their parents have their own Bible study.
How you can help
We really appreciate everyone who has supported us, financially, practically and in prayer, this year. Our work would not be possible without you. There are several ways you can support our work:
- Buy a SIFT Gift for a loved one or yourself this Christmas.
- Make a one-off or regular donation towards our work by sending a cheque to the SIFT office or giving online.
- Sign up to receive our monthly prayer and news letter.
- Publicise SIFT’s work in your church or local area by becoming a Voice for SIFT. Please contact Ali Wilson at the SIFT office for more details.
- Follow us on Facebook to receive more updates about SIFT. We regularly post photos and videos of the work our team is doing to help the poor of Nicaragua.
Thank you to everyone who has supported SIFT over the past year. These charts give an overview of how your money has been used to help the poor of Nicaragua. If you would like a full copy of our Annual Report and Accounts, please contact us or download them from our website.
Total income: £152,600
Total expenditure: £159,632
SIFT Sunday 2019
After the success of this year’s events we will be holding SIFT Sunday again on 28th April 2019. SIFT Sunday is a chance to celebrate SIFT, promote our work and raise much needed funds. And have fun at the same time! Please save the date in your church calendar and contact Ali Wilson at the SIFT office for more information.