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Building New Hope

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Health, Health (General & Financing), International, International Development

Mission: Partnership and support for communities in development in central america which are accomplished through programs in development, education, and health

Programs: Education building new hope runs several innovative educational programs in granada, nicaragua and also provides public school enrollment support to needy students and high school and university scholarships. Quinta los chavalos (the kid's place) is a school for children that provides supplemental education. Here the students are tutored in their school subjects to supplement the half-day program in the public schools, and prepare them for future education in high school and universities. Computers, physical activities and music are offered as well. Quinta students consistently perform at the top of their public school classes. Escuelita yo puedo (the little "i can" school) provides supplemental education to approximately 80 children, who discover an opportunity that eluded their parents to learn to read, do math, play games, sing, and to be a child. For many of the children it is the first time they have ever held a book. During 2014, children from escuelita participated in creative writing workshops and were invited to participate, for the second year in a row, in granada's internationally renowned poetry festival. They were the only school children from the city invited to participate and read their own poems. High school scholarship program - it became clear in 2009 that the graduates of our two supplemental schools were struggling after graduation because of poor quality high school education. So a high school scholarship program was begun enabling needy students to attend a quality high school. During 2014 there were 38 students supported,this is over triple the number that first started the program. In addition to the scholarship that enables them to attend private school, students receive tutoring support, as well as some basic scholastic supplies that their families cannot afford. The puedo leer (i can read) program and library is granada's first and only lending library, with more than 770 members and 6,000 books, as well as multiple activities to encourage a love of reading. In addition, puedo leer has two reading rooms elsewhere in the city where children and parents can read and be read to. Several small libraries have been established in surrounding areas by local residents with our ongoing assistance and support. Puedo leer's school program lends books to more than 20 granada urban and rural schools, providing teachers quality books to read to their classes, and provides training workshops for teachers and parents. Mobile libraries have been placed in several schools. The "reading in the park" program continued where volunteers and parents read quality children's books to children of all ages. This activity reaches children who do not attend school for various reasons, those who have no access to books in their homes, and even adults who want to learn to read or experience listening to stories for the first time. Building a love of reading is our goal. Granada arts education project (gaep) - is an artist and teacher driven collaborative. Its goal is to help young people learn about their world through artistic expression and exchange of ideas between schools in different countries. Gaep this past year provided material support for multiple art projects that focused on fostering intercultural communication, and it also provided financial assistance such that children from both escuelita yo puedo and quinta los chavalos were able to take a field trip and visit local museums, giving them greater appreciation for the arts in their own culture, as well as fostering their creativity.

developmentthe coffee project - in 2002, when a precipitous drop in the world price of coffee brought devastation and starvation deaths to regions in nicaragua, building new hope formed a relationship with the 47 families of the worker-owned cooperative of el porvenir to assist them in marketing their product and to avoid foreclosure and loss of land. By working predominantly with volunteers bnh has been able to pay them more than the fair trade price for their product and also provide additional assistance, enabling them to secure their land and expand their school. During 2014, bnh provided additional funds to support the long term educational investment of the community in its youth who are pursuing secondary and post-secondary education. Bnh also supplied school supplies as well as emergency funds for equipment repair so that harvest activities would not be interrupted. Casa lupita veterinary clinic - in addition to the critical public health functions of this sponsored project described below, the casa lupita clinic serves important development functions as well through its work with nicaragua's horses. During 2014 volunteer international veterinarians continued to provide medical and dental treatment to work horses, improving their productivity and extending their lives, and significantly enhancing the condition of the many nicaraguans' whose livelihood depends on them. To date, more than one thousand horses have received veterinary care through casa lupita.

healthhealth work in 2014 was in four areas. 1) logistical support for vising volunteer health brigades, both in nicaragua and neighboring el salvador. (2) medication and basic medical supplies were provided to the el porvenir rural community, with special focus given to problems that consistently plague the community such as respiratory problems in children and intestinal problems. (3) support for special health needs of our students and at times their families and our neighbors in need such as rides to the hospital, emergency dental care or needed medications. (4) our sponsored project, casa lupita veterinary clinic, meets a vital public health need related to the control and treatment of granada's largest stray animal population. Reducing incidents of dog bites, rabies, parasites, flea and tick infestations among area children. Casa lupita also provides veterinary care for granada's many work horses (see development).

building new hope also supports other projects in nicaragua consistent with our mission. L'armonia is a school for the handicapped in granada. The school for comedy & mime of granada teaches thirty at risk youth the arts of comedy, mime, juggling, acrobatics, along with a traditional curriculum. Students have performed in europe and central america and conducted training workshops with children from other central american communities.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for this organization for the last 7 years, the volunteer coordinator for the last 5 and a board member for the last 4. I am deeply committed to our work in Nicaragua (which Eileen mentioned) and to the amazing amount of work our volunteers have accomplished here in Pittsburgh and in Nicaragua.

I would like to talk a little more about our relationship with the El Porvenir Coffee Cooperative in Nicaragua and our coffee project in general. We were one of the first (and only) organizations in Pittsburgh to partner directly with a coffee cooperative and to promote the issues of Fair Trade in the Pittsburgh region. With the help of our volunteers and our roaster, we have sold over 150,000 pounds of coffee from this cooperative since 2001. We pay way above a Fair Trade price to the farmers as well as the shipping from there to here. It is shade grown, bird friendly and organically certified at the farm (promoting bio-diversity and healthier ground water for the families).

The coffee is served at several local area restaurants, cafes and sold in several retail outlets. It is also used by several local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms and by several local school, civic and church groups as a fundraiser. The most successful of these groups is Franklin Regional Middle School and I would like to provide a testament by Mr. Poole (the teacher who started this in 2003.

"I was shocked to find out we have been doing this since 2003! I have estimated that we have made close to $20.000 in profits, half of which has stayed in our community helping local families to have food on their tables for the holidays. The other half has provided donations to BNH, The Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh, The American Cancer Society, The Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti, Two High School scholarships to students in Nicaragua and a new computer to a rural school in Costa Rica delivered by our students. Over the years this experience has taught my students the value of serving others, the difficulty of living what we consider a normal daily life, and what fair trade means to the people who actually receive the fair trade price. Thank you Building New Hope!"

This inspires me and I know the rest of the board to keep up the great work ahead of us. I want to close by saying I see first hand the high quality of work we have and are still accomplishing and the many lives we are changing for the better, both here in Pittsburgh and in Nicaragua. We just celebrated our 20th Anniversary in October, 2012 and my hope building is for another 20 years. Thank you Building New Hope indeed.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Building New Hope since I went to El Salvador with them in 1994 and helped set up a solar-powered clean water system for the small village of Nueva Esperanza (New Hope). I was hooked from the start with their people-to-people focus and high energy.

Since then, I've participated as a volunteer in many ways, including as a board member. Currently BNH runs two innovative supplementary schools serving the poorest neighborhoods in Granada, and also an animal clinic that has alleviated the public health problems associated with Granada's large stray animal population as well as increased the health and welfare of the working horse population of the city. They also support Granada's only lending library (which also serves 14 public shools) and a worker-owned coffee cooperative of about 50 families.

BNH also began a music program in public shools in Granada and outlying areas that has since become its own nonprofit organization.

This organization does incredible work, almost entirely with volunteers.