This kind of project which offers a safe home to adults with an intellectual disability cannot simply be shut down. If that were to happen, some very vulnerable people would become homeless. We won’t allow that to happen.
Fortunately there are many donors who are aware of that. There are donors who have never stopped contributing since they started in 2015. Fantastic! Many many thanks!
With the total gifts which we have received from individual donors or from funding organisations so far, we should be able to support the project till the end of 2023. On the one hand one could think that is a lot of money, but on the other hand it is not that much considering that the project will have to keep going for another 20 years. The Ruach people in Juigalpa are fully aware of that, and in order to create its own source of income, the Board of the Ruach Foundation has studied the feasibility of setting up a simple optical services shop. As always in business, first the starting capital ought to be raised, and this is already happening through separate campaigns.
Corona in Nicaragua
The Ruach project has so far managed to keep the virus out of its Home. There are strict home rules which are properly adhered to. Compared to other Latin American countries including Mexico, Nicaragua seems to be less affected by COVID, although reliable statistics are hard to get. The Ortega Government’s statistics on the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths are very low. At the beginning of the crisis the Government even denied the existence of the virus. By mid December, the Government reported about 6,000 infections and less than 200 COVID-deaths. Independent civil organisations, such as the Observatorio Cuidadano COVID-19, estimates the number of deaths to be nearly 3,000.
We are approaching the end of 2020 which is traditionally the time to arrange for the audit of the Vivir Juntos accounts. We have made it our custom to ask some of our donors to be part of the audit committee, and we have managed to form the audit committee for this year’s accounts. We are currently discussing how to do this in a covid-19 safe manner.
Ruud Lambregts: new member of the Vivir Juntos Board
In the previous Newsletter we mentioned that the current Board will retire by 1st July 2021. There will be three new Board Members, including Ruud Lambregts who, before his retirement, worked for Oxfam-Novib for 35 years in many countries, including Nicaragua. He was also a volunteer for the twinning arrangements between Juigalpa and The Hague and Leiden. He is also active as a volunteer for organisations associated with Fairtrade, such as the Wereldwinkels and is active in the world of classical music. We are very happy that Ruud has already taken up being a Board member since October. This will really facilitate a smooth transition from the old to the new Board.
Happy Christmas everyone and especially a healthy 2021!
Chairman, Vivir Juntos