Si a la Vida

Forgotten Children Trust

The Si a la Vida project in Managua, Nicaragua, exists to provide a small but ever present group of destitute, marginalised children severly affected by the poverty in Nicaragua, the opportunity to join the mainstream of their society. A group of nine Nicaraguans, an American and a New Zealander, all volunteers, support these children (aged 5-14) living on the streets of Monte Negro Market in leaving behind all drug use, particularly their drug of choice, glue.

The volunteers themselves are affected by the poverty of Nicaragua, and have their own families to look after. And yet they have opened their hearts to the plight of the children in their local market, and have taken substantial steps to ensure that they realise their dreams to contribute to their society.

A first step in this direction is breaking up the continuous cycle of many of these children - sniffing glue and finding the money to buy it. The project therefore sets them up with the equipment to shine shoes, sell candies, etc, on the street. Later these children will hopefully be establishing themselves as perhaps carpenters, mechanics, and as professionals.

Kids Make A Difference

In its first year of operation the shell of a permanent home and safe-house has been built on land bought with donations, and ten children have been off glue for ten months. The house also operates on a night shelter basis for street children, with members of the project and the local community staying in the house and cooking an evening meal on a rostered basis.

The children are being taught to read and write, take care of themselves, and great care and effort goes into returning children to their families of origin, where this is possible. Sadly, it is not always safe or possible for them to do so.

All money donated to the Project goes towards food, schooling, equipping the shelter, and health care for the children.

Christchurch's Si a la Vida Forgotten Children Trust has been established solely to support the efforts of those volunteers working in Nicaragua. Nine trustees and a growing number of other volunteers are organising fundraisng efforts and sharing information to ensure that these children always have a place to go, to be warm, sheltered, fed, safe, drug-free, and above all cared about.

Ongoing activities include: shoe shining at the Arts Centre at weekends, a Volunteers Support Programme, and the sale of attractive natural cotton Si a la Vida T-shirts. Other projects are always underway and would welcome your participation! A short video is available for viewing, and public talks and meeting are frequent activities.

Money is not the only way in which these children need your support. All money donated goes to the Project in Managua, rebuilding the lives of children who have already provided ample evidence of their eagerness for a better life. Funds for the Trust's administration costs are raised separately.

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