by Kate Squires 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Manna Project International’s presence in Managua, Nicaragua. Our Child Sponsorship Program, Girls & Boys Health classes, and Nutrition/Exercise program are all part of our holistic approach to health and wellness. This year is special to Manna as it celebrates its anniversary, but to the 12 Program Directors that live in Nicaragua, this year, this month means something a little different. Last week we opened the first MPI run and operated clinic in the community of Cedro Galan.  

Access to health care was the most urgent request when the community needs assessments were done just a year ago. Prior to the first interview with our nurse, a PD was walking up to the clinic site when she heard a girl screaming nearby.  She ran to find 7 year-old Sara having just fallen off of her bike. With an injured foot and no resources, it was a telling sign that our clinic couldn’t open soon enough. Over the next few weeks, a constant PD presence kept her foot clean, dry, and wrapped to prevent infection and severe scarring. We bartered cookies for cleaning and because of that she is now walking and will have no permanent damage. Sara is one of the many examples that we encounter daily in Cedro Galan.

One of the main reasons I chose MPI for my year of volunteering, was because of the impact that I would be able to see before starting my own journey in the health care world. Many of the patients we will see at the clinic are people that do not have the resources to travel to a hospital, or even spend the time to wait for a doctor. Everyday that the clinic doors are open, we have the opportunity to create change in a way that we were not capable of before last week.

Up until October 25th, 2013 we were worried just how long those doors would stay open. However, on October 25th, we successfully raised over $11,500 with the help of over 100 generous donors! The clinic has now met the needed budget for the next year because of the success of our 25 in 25 match event. We could not be more grateful for all of the donations and support we have received thus far.
Our next fundraising event will be held on November 23rd, 2013 in conjunction with our partner organization, Lacrosse the Nations. For more info on how to get involved check out the event here, LtN Health Cup. After 10 years on the ground in Nica, we are excited about how our presence and programs are evolving. We would not be the organization we are today without the help of supporters like you. With every donation you are making measurable change.