Circulo De Amigas

Rating: 4.96 stars   26 reviews

Issues: Education, Human Services, International

Location: PO Box 6605 Huntington Beach CA 92615 USA

Mission: CĂ­rculo de Amigas (CdA) is a volunteer-run, registered 501(c)(3) secular non-profit, working to alleviate poverty in Nicaragua one girl at a time. In conjunction with the Nicaraguan Center for Education and Social Promotion (CEPS), we help girls and young women acquire the skills and tools needed to improve their lives. In doing so, we enable children to attend school and give direct aid to victims of severe hardship or regional crisis.
Target demographics: Young girls and women in poverty
Direct beneficiaries per year: 100
Geographic areas served: Jinotega, Nicaragua
Programs: -Sponsorship Program With approximately 100 girls currently sponsored, we offer students the ability to attain an education without becoming dependent on foreign aid. Each student receives a monthly stipend that helps cover cost of living, allowing her and her siblings to remain in school. Students have access to a lending library, community center, art classes, and computer lab. Academic success is ensured by our staff psychologist and students receive scholastic support from our full-time tutor. -The Ayudate Project Promotes family autonomy and nutritional health by teaching the art of family home gardening. -Recreational Reading Changing community literacy patterns with a full-time librarian, book club, contests, and news kiosk. -Lowering Pregnancy Rates In conjunction with US universities, the Peace Corps, and local health authorities, CdA is currently developing a program aimed at reducing teen pregnancy rates. -Community Health The Jinotega Department of Health is now providing free medical to the local community at our facility on a periodic basis. This includes well-baby check-ups, inoculations, and ob/gyn services.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Circulo de Amigas is making a difference--in my life and in the life of a young woman who is studying to be a nurse at the university nearby.

When my husband and I were assigned our student as sponsors, we didn't really know what to expect.

Only by communicating often over the last 6 years, being provided with her reports of progress and finally visiting her twice that, in our eyes, a student who was a photo and a number has transformed into a caring young woman whose primary goal is to obtain an education and a career to support herself and her son.

If you have not been to Jinotega, it is difficult to understand the depth of poverty in the barrios of this beautiful mountain town.

Funds provided by us have given our student and her family a sturdy roof over their heads, a concrete wall to divert a contaminated stream and other materials. They still have dirt floors, but hopefully , that will change one day as well.

Circulo de Amigas provides a way in which we can directly affect the life and education of one person--it is only one, but some day, it will be many.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...visiting Jintega twice to see what has transpired since we were first there. Many changes have taken place: a much-improved library, a gardening project for many families, a fruit-tree planting project, a new fence for a playground, etc.etc. There are two many things to mention.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would increase the volunteers who are sponsors. The same people continue to do the heavy lifting for the organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Circulo meets the needs of young women who are truly indigent. It does this by focusing on their education, paring them with loving donors who take a special interest in their welfare, and by paying local people to administer programs. The Board and administrative functions in the US are strictly volunteer based, so 100% of the aid given benefits the recipients and the local economy.

Education is the key component to improving the recipients long term future. It allows for the general improvement of Nicaraguan society and directly improves the lives of young women.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have only visited Jinotega once. However, the trip was well worth it. While both girls have benefitted, we provided vitamins and special support for one who was particularly in need. She has gone from a dull malnourished child who did not know her letters or numbers to one who is doing well in school, and is increasingly confident about her future. She has worked extremely hard and has made amazing progress.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would work to broaden the sponsor base and improve fund raising efforts. Volunteers in the US can only do so much, and the need is really overwhelming.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I learned of Circulo de Amigas through my church a number of years ago, and decided to sponsor a girl. It has been wonderful to get to know her through letters and photos, and to share experiences from each of our cultures. She is now in her second year of secondary school, and has hopes to attend the university. In the years I have sponsored her, I have seen her grow in a love for learning and to begin to think of a future with greater possibilities. She, and other girls like her, would not have had the opportunity for an education without "padrinos" to provide support.
I believe that for anyone, the best investment for life is a good education, and particularly so for children in developing countries. I have sponsored children through various organizations since I was a student in college (30+ years), and Circulo de Amigas is by far the best organization for sponsoring education for needy children that I have come across.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having the satisfaction of helping the girl I sponsor and her family, not only in education, but towards having a new home. Learning about the lifestyle and customs of people in Jinotega, Nicaragua has enriched my life. In volunteering with this organization I have met many dedicated people, with a true commitment to making the world a better place.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have more sponsors and donors to carry forth the great work done by Circulo de Amigas.

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Our congregation has been involved with Circulo de Amigas CdA) for several years. Over the years we have sent donations to assist them with their vital work educating girls, and collected boxes full of plastic bags to be made into purses which are sold to raise funds. Two years ago a group of church members decided to sponsor a girl. This was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Each month we send in our sponsorship check and in return we receive letters full of love and gratitude not only from this bright, adorable girl, who is now 7 years old, but also from her mother, along with her report card and painstakingly created art work. The monthly stipend not only covers school expenses for the student, but also provides a small amount to help the family. Last year I had the opportunity to visit CdA in Nicaragua and meet "our" girl and her family. I was welcomed with open arms and felt like one of the CdA family. The staff is exceptional and caring. It was an amazing and life-changing experience. I hope to return in the not too distant future. So much good work has been done over the years and, from what I hear, more to come. Sponsoring a girl is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

During my visit to CdA last year I personally was able to see the results of their work. The facility houses an extensive library, computer lab, provides homework assistance and provides any kind of help needed (food, home repairs, etc.).

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

CdA is lead by an innovative Board which is in the process of expanding services to reach more girls and provide more services.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I stumbled, unexpectedly, onto CdA some time ago and am so proud to be a Board member of this dedicated organization. It's great to be a part of something that's so important to the people it serves. We're working hard to develop our programs to make a BIGGER impact with the resources we have. Our students and employees have complete precedence and I look forward to doing more for them and our community in Jinotega.

You couldn't ask for a better group of talented, caring, and enthusiastic people!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a volunteer, CdA brings joy and love to my heart. It's very fulfilling to know that my hard work is really helping our community in Nicaragua.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

... make it more visible. That's hard to do in this economy.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

Through a friend.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

We have been sponsoring a young lady for 7 years. She would not have been able to attend school without a sponsor. She is now 19 years old and attending university to become a nurse. Through the years we have been sent copies of her report cards and she wrote letters to us. Although we have never seen her in person I feel I know her and am proud of her success in school. She now writes to me in English. It is gratifying to actually see results from your contributions.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Receiving letters written by this student and getting to know her as a person.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I believe it is very well run by dedicated people.

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Review from Guidestar