In January 2018 Nicaragua welcomed new mayors after elections a few months earlier. Juigalpa also got a new mayor. He was already familiar with, and appreciated, the twinning relationship between Juigalpa and Leiden, NL and my social involvement throughout the years. So it was natural for the President of the Ruach Foundation and myself to make a courtesy call. We discussed the feasibility of getting a contribution from the Muncipality for our work.
The first step was sending an official request to the town council, in March 2018. But in April Nicaragua was plunged into political upheaval, protests, demonstrations, deaths, violent abuse of human rights, including curtailing freedom of speech and censorship. Could we really enter into a working relationship with the local Government? We decided to let matters lie, and make do with whatever financial resources we had.
In September our Community Home was visited by a representative of a special committee of the Town Council who wanted to learn more about our work and to ask what Town Council support would be used for. In October we had another visit, and in January 2019 we got the message that our request was accepted. The Ruach Foundation will be receiving the standard amount of 3000 córdoba (about $ 30 US) from a social fund for the duration of one year. This is not a huge amount, but all small bits add up. We are pleased with the social recognition for our work which gives us a good platform to get more people involved. So it’s not a bad result!
In the picture above you see the plot that was officially given to us by an organisation that, before they recently had to close down, they used in order to work with HIV/Aids patients. The by-laws of this organisation stated that in that situation the plot ought to be given to a related organisation. Although in terms of the target group there is no similarity, we have in common the delivery of services in the social sector.
The plot is located on the outskirts of Juigalpa in an area where gradually a new quarter of town is being built. We expect it will take time before the plot will be officially registered in the name of our foundation and entered into the records of the municipality. That means a lot of time-consuming red tape and lawyers’ fees. Once we get close to the end of that process we will start drafting a proposal and cost-estimate for the construction of a suitable building.
We wholeheartedly thank the chairperson of Lesbia, the former HIV organisation, and the other members of the Lesbia board for their generous gift and their appreciation for our work. We made the transfer of the plot by signing the necessary documention in a festive manner.