Giving Tuesday: An Opportunity to Come Together as a Community

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[spacer height=”20px”] Nicolás Fund for Education is participating in Giving Tuesday on November 28th. Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement where individuals can help others through volunteerism, donations, donation of goods or spreading a positive message about Nicolás Fund for Education through social media. Giving Tuesday hopes to counteract the rampant materialism of the holidays by celebrating America’s traditions of generosity, entrepreneurism and community!  Every act of generosity counts! Please consider making a generous donation to NFE on November 28th! Donations can be made at NicolasFund.org. We are kicking off our campaign to increase donations through the end of the year starting with Giving Tuesday so that we can fully fund every student that wishes to attend Nicolás Christian School in 2018! Help us to make their educational dreams come true! NFE is actively seeking volunteers in the areas of hospitality, social media, communication and educational program development. Let us know if you’d like to help! I’d like to volunteer!

Empowerment of Women

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[spacer height=”20px”]By Ivan España, Country Director of NFE [spacer height=”20px”]NFE empowers young women to step up as leaders in their communities and the world. We do this through programs that equip girls with the confidence, resiliency, and leadership skills needed to achieve their goals and improve their communities.

Evergreen Covenant Youth Experience Nicolás Christian School

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Thirteen youth from Evergreen Covenant Church had a wonderful opportunity this summer…[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”]   Photo Credit: Sophie [spacer height=”20px”] …to meet Nicolás Christian School students, teachers and village families in the Ixil region of Guatemala. The ECC youth group was comprised of students of different ages and came from five different schools.  They were united by a common mission for this trip, however. ECC Youth Experience Ixil Culture Accompanied by four chaperones (Ryan LaBrie, Scott Kuhn, Kendra Gil and Robin Rosenquist) and ECC Youth Pastor Brent Strobel, the youth carried out a mix of sports activities and classroom activities at Nicolás Christian School. The most meaningful activity that the team experienced was having the opportunity to talk to NCS students and see how happy they were despite having less materially and living under far more difficult circumstances than the ECC youth. In addition, the youth team visited Professor Noe, a teacher at Nicolás Christian School who had recently suffered a motorcycle accident.  Noe was very touched by the ECC Youth’s visit to pray with him and the visit was an emotional experience for many involved.[spacer height=”20px”] “The beautiful thing about God’s work in our lives is to see how in giving we all receive. We don’t give to receive, but God is faithful and when we are open to His work and people and vision, he sustains us with meaningful purpose. Many of the kids were touched by a painting given with their name on it or a special recognition by another child.  The ECC kids gave of their money, vacation time and energy on the trip and, in return gained local and Guatemalan friends, a new perspective on God’s work …

July 2017 Impact Team

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[spacer height=”20px”]A team of eight NFE Impact Team members flew to the Ixil on August 21, 2017. [spacer height=”20px”]The team is praying for and encouraging junior and senior high students at Nicolas Christian School, and presenting information about DNA structure, hydropower, accounting, computers, lessons on frequency and amplitude, the physics of sound, gas laws and math. The team will also meet with students to discuss AlaTeen, a US based 12 step program to support children of alcoholics. As in the US, there are students attending our school whose families suffer from the scourge of alcoholism.  We hope to explore the level of interest in developing an AlaTeen program at Nicolas Christian School. July Impact Team Activities The team and Nicolas Christian School will also sponsor a regional teacher professional development workshop and approximately 100 educators are expected for that event.  The July team hopes to visit La Bendicion, La Esperanza, Villa Hortencia 1, Cajixay, Belen and San Nicolas. July Impact Team Members Traveling with the team will be Bill Safstrom, Heidi Reynolds, Becci Merritt, Gretchen Hawley, Hank Wysong, Cathy Bachmann, Albert Naranjo and Eastside Academy graduate Phebe Martinez. BelPres members on the trip include Becci, Cathy, Gretchen and Albert. Bill attends Evergreen Covenant Church. Phebe attends City Church and Heidi attends Menlo Park Presbyterian.  This will be a first NFE trip for Hank, Cathy, Albert and Phebe. Please keep the team in your prayers! Travel with Us Virtually We hope to post daily on our NFE Facebook page: “Nicolas Fund for Education” so that you all can virtually travel with us!

NFE Begins Planning for New, Larger School

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NFE Begins Planning for New, Larger School Nicolas Fund for Education currently has a lease on a property owned by a church in Nebaj.  This has made a terrific starter home for Nicolas Christian School. Based on current enrollment projections, however, we will exceed capacity for that leased building in a couple of years. NFE has heard from school parents that they wish our school was closer to their home villages based near Cotzal, rather than in Nebaj. [spacer height=”20px”]NFE Board members on the July 2017 Impact Team will continue the process of looking at available property in or around Cotzal. Based on earlier investigations, there has not been property large enough in Cotzal that we could lease for the school. We also need adjacent property space for sport fields. This has led us to believe that we will likely have to build. [spacer height=”20px”]NFE will seek grants and individual donations to help fund the new school when our plans are finalized. Please pray for us during this process of investigation and planning, and that donations to build the facility will become available when the plans are finalized. We endeavor to be good stewards of every dollar donated!  

NICOLÁS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL WORSHIP BAND FORMED

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[spacer height=”20px”]Thanks to several generous donations from Nicolás Fund for Education supporters, the newly formed Nicolás Christian School Worship Band now has instruments, guitar amps, and a choir!  This is a very exciting development that has been on the hearts of Nicolás Christian School students for some time. Devotions are held each day after lunch, and students participate in leading these devotions. Members of our July NFE Impact Team trip will have the first opportunity to hear the worship band as we worship with students and staff.  The July team will be in Guatemala July 21-31.

SOCCER TEAM AT VH1!

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[spacer height=”20px”]Students and families of VH1 raised their own funds to purchase soccer uniforms for their newly formed soccer team. Juan Samuel, the teacher at the VH1 school, is coaching the soccer team. The village has now started construction of their very own soccer field! The addition of a sports field will undoubtedly be an exciting addition for the students at VH1!

Fulfilling a Dream 2017: A Success Story

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Nicolás Fund for Education is grateful for the generous donations made in response to our 2017 Fulfilling a Dream (FaD) fundraiser! [spacer height=”20px”]Thanks to our supporters, we were able to raise $136,000 that evening to help fund our 2018 academic year! Without your help, many of our NFE students would not have been able to pursue education after the sixth grade. In her talk, Ana Córdova, FaD’s keynote speaker and an NFE graduate, described her years of hard work; perseverance in her pursuit of her educational dreams; and her loyalty to her family. Ana Córdova’s gratitude for her education – a blessing only possible through NFE supporters – delivered a compelling case for the mission of NFE, and we were personally touched by her message. NFE still has work to do to obtain an additional $50K to fully fund the 2018 academic year, but we feel confident that with God’s help and provision we will reach our final goal by December 31.

How Your Donations Are Spent

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[spacer height=”20px”]Nicolás Fund for Education is a very lean organization. NFE spends only 6% of our income on fund-raising, and Charity Navigator’s rankings indicate that organizations that spend 10% or less on fund-raising earn their top score for their fund-raising percentage metric.  NFE has no paid USA employees. NFE does contract with grant writers and a virtual assistant who helps our Board organize meetings and communication. In Guatemala, NFE employs a Country Director, Ivan España, to administer our program.  NFE’s Guatemalan employees include our school Principal, Braulio, eight teachers for Nicolás Christian School, two teachers for the remote village of Villa Hortencia 1, a cook, and a security guard. We have contracts with three part-time school bus drivers. Through these employees, NFE now serves over 100 students from six villages in the Ixil region. Almost your entire donation goes directly to student programs and services.  [spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”] [spacer height=”20px”]To explain our pie chart, the following may be helpful: Teachers and School Staff (32%): Employee salaries, payroll expenses and contracted staff. In Country Management (19%): Ivan España’s contract and related expenses as Country Director for NFE. School Equipment and Supplies (18%): AV equipment, computers, classroom supplies, PE and art supplies, materials for student construction of new desks and chairs for school and building maintenance costs. Transportation (12%): We have contracts with 3 part-time drivers who use their own microbuses to transport students from villages to school and back. Tutoring and Other Village Costs (8%): Remote schools administered by Nicolás Christian School in Villa Hortencia 1 and San Nicolás, and village tutoring of 5th and 6th graders expanded in 2017 to five villages. Fundraising (6%): Transportation for Fulfilling a Dream fundraiser …

Innovative Nicolás Fund for Education Partnership with Seattle Pacific University

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[spacer height=”20px”]Nicolás Fund for Education is partnering with Seattle Pacific University this summer in their inventive SPRINT program. SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reach-out International) provides a variety of international immersion trips for their students designed to help participants engage in issues around community development, justice and reconciliation. Participants have an opportunity to live outside their usual comfort zones and are paired with international specialists devoted to working in their communities. The SPRINT program is facilitated by student leaders under the mentorship of John Perkins Center staff, who serve as advisors for those student leaders. The objectives of the SPRINT experience are to: Explore cross-cultural impact; what is the role for Western Christians in faith-driven global engagements? Examine and apply diverse perspectives to complex subjects. Study the history and culture of the host country. Discover Christian faith-driven leadership and community development practices. Learn principles of Christian Community Development as a framework for justice and community development. Critiques the history of Western Christian missions and factors contributing to effective, meaningful short-term mission programs. Nicolás Fund for Education and Nicolás Christian School will be hosting a team of four SPU SPRINT students beginning August 1, 2017 and students will be staying in the Ixil region for four weeks. They will be staying in both Nebaj and in the village of La Esperanza.  The SPU SPRINT team will have their orientation in Antigua.  The team will stop for a visit to Chichicastenango on their way up to Nebaj. During their stay, the SPRINT team will stay at a hotel in Nebaj so that they are close to Nicolás Christian School during the week.  The team’s main task, while they are in Nebaj, will be facilitating …