Gundersen Lutheran's Global Partners initiative in Nicaragua is helping to end poverty in that country, two speakers recently told the Decorah Rotary Club.
Steve and Margeen Mau, both Luther graduates, volunteered with Global Partners in Santa Celia, Nicaragua to help secure adequate nutrition, a clean water supply and safe housing.
Santa Celia is a very poor, rural village on a coffee plantation in the mountainous region of Matagalpa. The project helped to provide one daily nutritious meal for every child and pregnant woman in the town. It also aided in the drilling of new wells and the purchase of water filters, which provide Santa Celia families with a safe water supply, the key to decreasing parasitic and bacterial infections.
The funds also support a Nicaraguan primary care physician's weekly clinic.
Finally, through Rainbow Network, Global Partners-Nicaragua has provided scholarships to high school students in Santa Celia. The program aims to increase the number of students attending primary and secondary school and supporting post-secondary educational opportunities for students.
Current housing in Santa Celia is owned by the coffee plantation and is inadequate. The program financially supports the people of Santa Celia in building homes, which is essential to alleviate unsafe living conditions and health-related issues.
Global Partners is funded by philanthropy and fueled by community volunteers. Gundersen Lutheran has developed partnerships with community groups—including school districts, universities, businesses and other organizations—in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, as well as the areas Global Partners serves--in South Dakota, Nicaragua and Tanzania.
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