|Posted by cigarra-eng on January 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM|
In this dreadful year of natural disasters and human caused calamities, I hope your life has bee free of misadventure! I wish you all, Happy Holidays and a New Year filled with joy.
As I look back on what we have accomplished this year, I realize that we have done most of what we set out to do.
We have had no change in our staff of 15: we continue with our six teachers, two cooks, laundress, two watchmen, an accountant and a fiscal auditor, an administrator and a part time procurement officer. With the new programs that we plan for the coming year, Andrea Garcés will come and work full time as their coordinator, as well as retaining her previous responsibilities. We continue to sponsor 6 of our staff in their higher education studies as we encourage them all to aspire to higher accomplishments.
We planned to build a children’s play park this year, but as the year progressed we found that some of our neighbors were willing to sell their land and/or dwelling; this was very fortunate as one of them had intended to set up a pig farm! This unexpected event has allowed us to purchase a sufficient area around our facilities that will help us expand our cramped quarters, ass other rooms for medical and psychological consultation and social work. We hope to break ground this coming year, when we can secure sufficient resources.
This year I am especially pleased to tell you that we have had a total of 23 health brigades. Maintaining and contributing to the proper health of the children and the community is an important aspect of the work of Cigarra. These brigades were distributed as follows:
n In March we began as association with Doctors without Borders. They came a total of 7 times and attended 150 people. They attend the children in our daycare that need medical attention, as well as the recently displaced families with no health coverage. They will certainly be more comfortable in our consulting rooms!
n Profamilia, the State run family planning entity, came twice and attended 80 people.
n Two nurses from the local “Vista Hermosa” Hospital come monthly to vaccinate the children and keep their records current. They visited a total of 10 times and vaccinated a total of 7 children each time. We are very happy with this, as it requires a lot of parental education in the importance of the program and the proper keeping of their records. We maintain a chart for every child as well.
n We have established a good working partnership with the UBA of Paraíso (Unidad Básica de Atención) or the Primary Health Unit of Paraíso. They come every 3 months and check the children’s height and weight I order to spot nutritional problems. We also carry out these checks, as it allows us to zoom in on the children and families that are going through economic hardship, and we help them out with extra groceries and nutritional supplements.
n Twice yearly we send the children to the Dental College San Martin for dental check ups and treatment. This year 60 children were attended.
We continue our association with the Archdiocese’s Food Bank and their support programs. We buy our weekly groceries from them at a reduced price and participate actively in supporting the work of the many NGOs that work in the area. Through this bank, General Motors selected us to receive their Christmas outreach program. They arrived with presents, refreshments and entertainment and in turn, our very own choir or “Tuna” performed for them.
The World Food Program delivers rice, dried peas, lentils, panela, oil and Bienestarina-- a food supplement—every 45 days. Twice this year we also received a student’s kit (consisting of copy books, pencils, colors, pens, ruler, pencil sharpener, block of paper and utility bag) for 120 children in the daycare.
We have established a partnership with the INCCA University in several areas:
n The final year students studying to become Preschool Teachers come once weekly to work with our teachers and the parents of the community.
n We have access to a psychologist of the University and several people are already using this service.
n The Faculty of Jurisprudence has also offered its services. The University has been a source for donations, puppet shows and promotion of our NGO, and we are very grateful to them and Andrea Garcés for establishing the connection.
This year we helped four families with housing. We helped the community with materials to channel the sewage and make 2 step ways down the hillside. Puertas de Paraíso is the “barrio” or neighborhood built on a steep slope and several flights of steps have been planned to act as byways.
Finally, we have increased the didactic material in the classrooms and succeeded in organizing a little “Tuna” or choir who sing and play maracas and tambourines. They wear little blue capes with ribbons and performed for the first time this Holiday Season in St. George’s School, one of our biggest supporters. We hope to encourage music in our children and this is our first step.
Dear donors, we know that your charitable dollars can be given to many worthy causes, we are therefore very careful in utilizing them in the best way possible. Our board members both in the US and Colombia receive no salary, we spend no money on advertising or fundraising, as such activities have been done to date either by word of mouth or on a voluntary basis. We are proud to inform you that 100% of the monies received go to the running of our programs.
Thanks again for all your support,
President and Founder