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April 2011

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In This Issue
Hope and Healing
Network of Rural Schools
Bringing Hidden Issues to Light
Sisters in Solidarity
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Horse therapy

Hope and Healing

Here, a young man who has suffered the isolation and stigma of autism his entire life receives horse therapy designed to introduce him to the concepts of trust, self-control, cooperation and community.


 When Sister Rebecca Trujillo first arrived in the mountain city of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, she was asked to seek out families with handicapped children and begin laying a foundation for ministry with them. After four years of census-taking, meeting and praying with mothers of more than 500 special needs children and creating opportunities for them to connect and support one another, Sister Rebecca formed an official organization based on their suggestions and input. In 2000, Familias Especiales de Santa Julia Billiart ("Special Families of St. Julie Billiart") was born.
For the past 15 years, Sister Rebecca has been comforting and counseling mothers of special needs children as well as handicapped adults, reassuring them that they are not alone, that strategies and solutions can be found. In fact, much of her work has focused on job training for special needs adults by validating their contributions to the community and helping them become as self-sufficient as possible. 
Familias Especiales is now an integrated program that meets the needs of handicapped people in the areas of health, nutrition, education, social integration, recreation, employment and spiritual growth. It features the only horse-therapy program in all of Central America. It has also constructed the only handicapped accessible playground for children in northern Nicaragua.


 Spotlight on Nicaragua...
  Sisters make inroads into mountain communities. 

"... the One who began a good work in you will go on completing it..."

  - Philippians 1:6


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"Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can..."
- John Wesley

Sisters Expand Rural School Network 
School Building in Nicaragua

   Sister Sandra Price began organizing rural one-room primary schools in Nicaraguan mountain communities in 1999. At that time, there were barely any schools in the region. There are now a total of 54. To achieve a 6th-grade education is not an easy or assumed accomplishment in a country where, according to the U.S. State Department, 46 percent of the population lives on less than $1.15 a day. With the efforts of Sister Sandra and support from donors like you, more schools are being built.

Here, a remote mountain community celebrates the opening of its first and only schoolhouse in 2010. According to Sister Sandra, overseeing the construction of a school is only half the challenge. She must also recruit and train teachers, some of whom have only a third-grade education themselves, plan curricula and travel by horseback throughout the most remote regions to monitor student progress and meet with teachers. Read the full report on page 14 in the latest issue of Good Works. 

Bringing Hidden Issues to Light
  Young Women in Gender Workshop Impoverished people feel keenly a sense of diminished value and dignity in our world community. More often than not, this leads to discrimination, violence and abuse - particularly directed at women and children.Violence toward women and the subordinate place women have been assigned in a "machismo" culture are serious problems.
Here, the young women of Mulukuku, Nicaragua, participate in a gender equality educational workshop designed and led by Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Publicly discussing destructive cultural attitudes and side effects of unjust systems taps into a community's collective wisdom. Sharing stories can empower women and unearth creative strategies for change.
Sisters in  Solidarity
Sisters Rebecca and Sandy

  Sister Rebecca Trujillo (left) joins forces with Sister Sandra Price in the mountains of Nicaragua to bring education, health care and economic opportunities to impoverished people in one of the earth's most abandoned places.   

Help the Sisters do all the Good They Can  

Your gift of $25 will allow Sister Rebecca and Sister Sandra to purchase materials for their educational programs and gasoline for their transportation to and from the mountain communities.Your generosity will give them the resources they need to continue changing lives.  

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