At the end of the 2012-13 school year, Lily ’17, Rosie ’17, and Johanna ’17 teamed up with the Nicaragua Initiative for Community Advancement Foundation (NICA) in order to make a difference in Nicaraguan communities. Their project focused on improving the education in an underprivileged village called El Transito. These three girls gathered school supplies, uniforms, and lost-and-found items in order to donate them to children in need.
“At the end of the school year at Marlborough and a couple other schools, we collected school supplies through donation drives, and since Marlborough is changing uniforms this year, we had a ton of the old gray skirts, khaki skirts, navy polos, and everything that everyone wasn’t going to be able to use anymore,” Lily said.
They filled up a total of thirty-six 170-pound bags, traveled to Nicaragua, and distributed all of the donations. The girls spent a total of one week in Nicaragua.
Now the children of this community will be more inclined to stay in school since they don’t have to spend as much on supplies and clothes for school. If you go to visit El Transito, you might see these students walking around in Marlborough school uniforms!
At the beginning of their trip, the girls taught the kids English and did activities with them, such as teaching them how to make friendship bracelets.
These donations were appreciated in the communities of Nicaragua, where 78.0% of adults and 87.0% of youth are literate according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
“We planted the incentive that ‘now you have the uniforms and the notebooks and the tools that you need to get an education,’” Lily said.
The process of collecting these items was not an easy job. The girls contacted people inside and outside of the Marlborough community for resources and help!
The girls put some bins outside of all the locker halls, and Ms. Payne helped them tremendously with organizing these uniforms and school supplies.
“The Los Angeles public schools were going to get uniforms for this year, so DENNIS [Uniform company] ordered around 2,000 uniforms…[the school] didn’t end up using a single one of them, so we got a ton of uniforms from them, which was really nice,” Lily said.
They also received a lot of school supplies from students at Marlborough and brought some toys down with them too. Once in Nicaragua, the girls spent around two days sorting sizes and colors of clothing for distribution to the children.
“My favorite part of the trip was meeting the kids and getting to talk to them, and I got to improve my Spanish while helping them improve their English. They were all so cute and adorable, and it was really nice getting to know all of them,” Lily said.
You may purchase the friendship bracelets that the children made at the trade fair and possibly at the student store next semester.