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

My college Spanish teacher introduced me to Circulo de Amigas about 10 years ago. I committed to a sponsorship to help keep a sweet young girl in grade school and my role recently expanded to board member. Since then, my little girl has become a lovely young college co-ed with a future full of options! --- CdA is 100% volunteer run and all funds directly benefit the girls. This is no small feat for any charity. The donor's level of involvement with CdA varies from writing a modest check each month to traveling to the village of Jinotega and completing important projects. --- I've been involved in several charitable endeavors over the years and Circulo de Amigas stands apart as one that delivers meaningful, life-changing results. I highly recommend it.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I started working with CdA as a casual volunteer about 14 years ago. Back then I knew it only as the non-profit that my friend Pat had started many years before, that helped girls and young women in a desperately poor area of poverty-stricken and war-torn Nicaragua. Now, I have a much deeper knowledge of the program, and have been to Nicaragua several times to see it in action. The work Circulo de Amigas does, the role it plays in the community and the difference it makes in the lives of all those it touches is difficult to overstate. Pat started something truly amazing, because she felt she had to. Those of us involved with it will keep it going, and keep it growing, because we know that we must: Educating girls has been proven to be the best track out of poverty, and that is what we are dedicated to doing - educating the girls, and by doing so helping them to lift themselves, their families, and their community out of abject poverty. Won't you join us?!

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
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  

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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