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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Neighbors To Nicaragua Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Our vision for Neighbors to Nicaragua began in April 2011 when Founder and Executive Director, Chuck Selvaggio, traveled to Granada, Nicaragua to study Spanish. After witnessing the region’s high rate of youth homelessness, Chuck became interested in learning more about efforts to educate its children and youth and alleviate issues associated with poverty. Upon returning home, he recruited friends, family members, and former colleagues to volunteer their time and money to support grassroots organizations working to improve the education and infrastructure of the communities he had visited. He guaranteed our first donors that 100% of their gifts would be allocated to academic and critical needs projects—a promise we continue to honor to this day. While continuing to match donors with students in need of financial assistance for education, as well as, individuals and families with critical needs, Neighbors to Nicaragua also piloted a literacy program for over a year at a school we helped to build for another charitable organization in Pantanal, one of the poorest barrios in Nicaragua. Our literacy program served 23 adolescents and adults ranging from age 9 to age 45. These are deserving, hardworking children and adults whose need to work for financial survival has prevented them from learning how to read and write. The overwhelming success of that program prompted us to build our own center, Centro de Oportunidad, opened in January 2018.

Programs: Education plus: we support the academic enrichment programs of education plus, a nonprofit organization based in pantanal, which serves around 200 children and youth annually. As most children and teens attend area public schools in the morning or afternoon only, the organization's enrichment classes are offered from 9:00 a. M. To 4:00 p. M. To supplement what students are learning in school. Of the total participants, 60-percent are female and 40-percent are male-an impressive figure considering nicaragua's low rate of female school enrollment-and approximately 90-percent move on to the next grade level.

centro de opportunidad:in february of 2017 a dream was born, almost a year to the day later, that dream was realized. Our first school, centro de oportunidad (center of opportunity), opened its doors to our students on february 5, 2018. Through the generous support of our local community and foundation grants, we are truly bringing opportunities of a brighter future to a community in need. Our dedicated staff is teaching basic literacy skills to youth and adults that have not been afforded the opportunity to attend traditional schools. They will now have the chance to rejoin the public school system upon completion of our programs. We also provide a free meal each day to all of our registerd students through our nutrition program. For many of our students, this is the only full meal they will receive that day. In addition, we have a computer lab for all ages to teach computer skills and we plan to roll out a vocational training program with job placement assistance. It is our belief that through education and job training, this impoverished community will be able to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and future generations to come.

housing: neighbors to nicaragua is dedicated to the safety and well-being of our students and families both while attending our programs and at home. Beyond providing for participants' rental fees and the purchase of land, we also renovate and build homes within the communities in which we work. To date, we have constructed two complete houses, renovated four others, and begun plans to initiate additional homes in the future. In addition to housing construction, we also help to finance the building of schools and other educational centers.

all other programs including medical aid, nutrition. Education, special projects, puedo leer, centro juan pablo ii, corazon contento and general programs-medical aid, nutrition, and education are all part of our core mission in nicaragua. These are services provided to the people we help in nicaragua. Special projects are services that might be needed by the people we serve in nicaragua that don't fall under the above-listed categories. Puedo leer, centro juan pablo ii and corazon contento are other nonprofit organizations working in nicaragua. On occasion we receive donations on their behalf. However, for 2018 we have limited or tried to eliminate these types of donations. General program donations are used to support the core mission of our organization.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Constantly post that nobody gets paid but, also posts photos of staff in Nicaragua. What is the truth? 100% of the funds can’t be going directly to support students.

Appears that they give a lot of handouts which are not sustainable. They definitely need a better plan. I’m sure that the handouts are welcome but, in the long run, the people will suffer if they expect this from any visitor to their community. The handouts prolong the poverty.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an excellent organization that does a lot of on the ground real work with children and families in Nicaragua. They have established a school and are devoted to the cause. I am a long time supporter of this organization and proud of all that they have accomplished.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work Neighbors does is fantastic. The volunteers that are part of this organization are passionate about education at all levels. The future of this organization is exciting and I look forward to continuing to follow their journey to serve those who need it most.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at numerous events for this organization and it is amazing!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The best Non-Profit I know of. All monies go directly to the people in need. No salaries, travel expenses or reimbursements for board members.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fantastic charity supporting a great cause. The people involved are incredibly passionate about what they do.

1 Christina R.5

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a donor and help support Neighbors to Nicaragua with my monthly donations and by being involved in other fundraising events they have throughout the year. The organization does a great job of having various fundraising events to supplement the money they receive from donors like me. The fundraising events vary and they manage to find different venues and event types to draw in an assortment of different people, not just the normal tried and true events like many other charitable organizations. I can attest to the fact that 100% of the money received by Neighbor to Nicaragua through fundraising or through donor support goes right back to the charity and to support the beneficiaries in Nicaragua. I find it personally fulfilling to know that the money I pledge every month goes to medication that is a necessity for continued health for the individual I sponsor. I also love that I was given a picture of my sponsor along with a detailed bio and information on what the money I pledge goes to. I honestly can't say enough good things about this organization and what they are doing to help those in need in Nicaragua.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

N2N is a wonderful organization serving a community in need. The fundraising events N2N sponsors are extremely well-organized and virtually every dollar raised goes directly to benefitting people in need, rather than getting chewed up in "administrative fees." Your dollar goes directly to the area of greatest need.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

They do fantastic work. I am happy to support them.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm involved with Neighbors to Nicaragua because of their transparency and honesty. Whatever money is collected goes directly to those they serve. This is where my charity dollars go.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began my time with Neighbors to Nicaragua as a volunteer and eventually was invited to join the board of incredible people I’m honored to serve with! The work we do is so impactful and is supported by a community of amazing people deeply committed to the work we do. We have held true to our core values and commitment to using 100% of the funds we raise to directly serve the people of Nicaragua. No salaries, no expense accounts - we all use personal funds for travel to our school, Centro de Oportunidad. This organization continually renews my faith in the goodness of humanity and the achievements we can make when we come together in the pursuit of a better world for all.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Neighbors to Nicaragua is truly a hands on group.
They go to difficult parts of the country and facilitate badly needed construction.
The main focus is education of children from their early years. The fact that the founder visits often is Nicaragua often is crucial to the organization's success

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Neighbors to Nicaragua Inc. for a number of years, as a volunteer and ultimately board member. 100% of N2N's fundraising goes directly to the people we serve. I've seen what the fundraising can do myself, having taken a trip to Nicaragua to meet the students we sponsor, as well as visit some of the schools we've built.

The other board members and volunteers are some of the greatest people I've ever met, and care deeply about the mission, sacrificing time and money, and always keeping our grass-roots beginnings and institutional transparency as guiding principles.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Neighbors to Nicaragua is an excellent nonprofit run by caring individuals that work to help the people of Nicaragua. The work they do is truly extraordinary and selfless.

1 Michael K.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was planning a family trip to Nicaragua, and wanted to find some service opportunities for my family. I stumbled across an article about Neighbors to Nicaragua, and was impressed by its grass roots work around education, nutrition, and medical necessities. During that trip, my family and I were able to meet and help a variety of students (elementary school age, and university age), provide food to needy families, and get an insider view of real-life for the poorest in Nicaragua

Since then, I've become more and more engaged with the charity, eventually becoming a Board Member. I still visit Nicaragua regularly, and continue to enjoy the direct engagement with needy citizens of Nicaragua.

1 Nancy D.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of participating in a medical mission with Neighbors to Nicaragua.
They serve the poorest of the poor, with the goal of helping them obtain self sufficiency. They provide sorely needed nutrition and education.
They are fiscally responsible, with almost 100% of donations going directly to the poor. Volunteers pay all their own expenses.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Pure compassion and love. That’s what the volunteers of this nonprofit give.
Chuck Selvaggio and his staff work tirelessly, all unpaid, to bring the most that they can to Nicaragua. They have inspired others to give, to help, to visit, to act.
And that’s what it is , neighbors and community helping Nicaragua.