Nicaragua is a country about the size of Alabama. The population is 5.3 million with 4 million living in poverty earning less than $1.00 per day; that translates to 75% of the population is in dire need. In the Western Hemisphere, Nicaragua is the poorest nation second only to Haiti. The adult population suffers from a 33% illiteracy rate with 50% of the children dropping out of school before completing the 5th grade, usually because the parents cannot afford school supplies. There is 1 doctor for every 2,700 people and only 50% of the population has access to the most basic of medical supplies.
This website is about children living on city dumps around the world and a process to eliminate this horrible condition. A successful example and developing model for removing children from a city dump has evolved from Father Marco Dessy, an Italian missionary who has spent the past ten years trying to alleviate this problem from the city dump in Chinandega, Nicaragua. For the purpose of this website, successfully removing a child from a city dump starts with the child’s education and nutrition and only ends when the entire community reaches financial independence. This is a complete and total process. One way to successfully reduce poverty and children at risk is through education leading to financial sustainability. Without reaching this goal, charity and dependence on others never ends. Here are the necessary goals involved:
|For the child:||For the child’s family & parent(s):||For the child’s community:|
|Schooling – Literacy||Suitable Housing||Utilities (water, electricity, sanitation)|
|A Daily Nutritious Meal||Potable Water||Community Businesses / Unity / Pride|
|Clothing||Medical Care||Financial Independence / Sustainability|
|Medical Care||Adult Education:||Self-governing|
|Safety||Literacy / Parenting / Conflict Resolution||Safety / Community Watch /|
|Self-esteem||Home Maintenance / Vocational training||Controlled Future Growth and Development|
|Schooling in Vocational Skills||Employment / Entrepreneurship||Community Involvement Programs|
|Hope for the Future||Self-respect||Hope for the Future|
|Hope for the Future|
This website is currently divided into four parts. The first part entitled, The Process, involves a developing template for the complete process as described above. This template is being created from Father Marco Dessy’s incredible accomplishments and involves his coordinated efforts with hundreds of participating organizations such as Rotary International, Hope and Relief International, Inc, American Nicaraguan Foundation, and many others dedicated organizations and individuals. When completed, this template should serve as a successful model for other groups and institutions trying successfully remove children from dumps all around the world.
The second part of this website is called Nicaraguan Information. It shows previous trips to the Chinandega dump, how they were organized, whom to contact for future trip participation, trip schedules and precautions, and many photographs submitted from the many participants. This section also has Nicaraguan maps and photographs from.
The third section of this website involves Hiram College, a private liberal arts college in Ohio. Hiram College has embraced the Father Marco Dessy project by developing an interdisciplinary course entitled “Children of the Dump – a Study in Overcoming Poverty through Grass-Roots Entrepreneurship.” This course started in November 2007 taking students to Nicaragua under the guidance of Hope and Relief International Foundation, Inc., an organization developed by the pioneers working with Father Marco Dessy’s “Children-of-the-Dump” project. Hiram College has also started a Rotaract Club (a Rotary Club for college students and community members age 18-30). The Rotaract Club of Hiram College will be working with other organizations encouraging participating in this special project. The Children of the Dump course curriculum and Hiram College Rotaract involvement are described herein to serve as an example for other Rotaract and educational institutions who want to get involved with this inspiring project.
The fourth portion of this website involves Getting Involved for those desiring to participate either “hands-on” or financially. There are many ways individuals and organizations can help. Each will be discussed under this section.