Thank you for your commitment to the children in Nicaragua through child sponsorship. Being a part of a Hope Center and connected to a sponsor like you makes such a difference for these children. In an effort to keep you informed and prayerful, we want to alert you of the current situation in Nicaragua.
In recent weeks, civil unrest and protests broke out in cities across the country. The demonstrations have escalated in violence, making it unsafe for many to leave their homes. The overall turmoil has kept children from schools and adults from their jobs.
More than 1,000 children in our program have been affected by this upheaval with limited access to food and loss of income for their parents. Unfortunately, it looks as though the unrest will continue for some time.
Blockades on main access roads throughout major cities inhibit the purchase of food and drinking water, and widely used products such as gasoline and chicken are scarce. Eight weeks of conflict have resulted in more than 200 deaths with 1,700 wounded and over 100 people still missing, including the son of a tutor from one of our Hope Centers.
In response to the ongoing conflict, the national One Child Matters office convened and formed the OCM National Emergency Committee which is made up of four pastors, two Hope Center Directors, and OCM National staff. It was determined for the physical safety as well as the emotional well-being of the children enrolled in the affected Hope Centers that all One Child Matters program activities be suspended until further notice as the Emergency Committee assess the situation on ground. This team of committed individuals is doing all that they can to prioritize the most urgent needs of these children and their loved ones.
As food stocks in the region are steadily decreasing with local suppliers unable to meet demands, and the loss of work opportunities for area adults (the majority of whom are without permanent jobs), the OCM National Emergency Committee has been in constant contact with our office in the event that requests for additional funding become necessary.
For the safety of our national and Hope Center staff, child and sponsor correspondence will continue but delays are expected. Also, letters will be done electronically, so you may receive a scanned copy of your child letter rather than the original.
We are confident that your sponsored child would find great comfort in extra communication from you during this stressful time. Please take this opportunity to send letters, reminding them that they are cared for and not alone. You can also write to your child online through My Account.
If you would like to offer monetary support, there are avenues in place to ensure that your funds are directed to our Hope Centers in Nicaragua. You can give online to our Crisis Fund or call 800-864-0200 to make a contribution.
Though we are saddened to bring such news, it is our hope that this is awareness will gain your much-needed thoughts, prayers, and assistance.