Many children in Nicaragua soon will receive their first shoes, school supplies, and toys thanks to the NICA Global Leadership and Service Project (GLSP) “Nicaragua December of Dreams Trip to Help Kids.” The GLSP’s dedicated student planners—members of the International Business Honor Society (IBHS) in the College of Business Administration—also hope to establish educational scholarships for the orphans. With the area damaged by Hurricane Beta, the need has grown more acute.
Twenty-four students— twelve each in Granada and Managua— have signed up for the trip, which will take place between December 26, 2005 and January 8, 2006. They will teach the children English, working with eight schools and orphanages. Christian Jarquin and Norman Uriarte are serving as site leaders and Grupo TACA is a major sponsor of the project, reducing the airfare for the good Samaritans and donating two tickets that the students can sell to raise money.
“We also are grateful to the media for the coverage we’ve received as well as to the companies that have come forward to sponsor a child at $20 a month, given donations to make repairs to the schools, and provided other forms of sponsorships,” Jarquin said.
As the trip approaches, participants have escalated their efforts to amass the quantity of items they want to distribute—through a local toy marathon; participation in a Nicaraguan festival; and a toy and supply competition among the University’s fraternities, sororities, and student organizations.
In addition to trying to make the trip an annual event, the students hope to to set up an international export business, which could make a long-lasting positive impact on the children’s lives.
“The children currently make hammocks, arts, and crafts,” Jarquin said. “We thought if we were able to sell the items in the United States, the schools and orphanages would receive more money for the goods than they do in Nicaragua. We need help to identify contacts, handle logistics, and create distribution channels in the United States.”
This is the second GLSP conducted by the IBHS—the first took place in Thailand in the spring of 2005—and is part of the College’s Civic Engagement Initiative, which shapes business students to play an active and positive role in their communities at the local and global level.