HOI and Communidad Connect, our partner in Nicaragua, welcome volunteers from Decatur and Greenwood Presbyterian Churches to The Farm (Finca de Peten). The team will spend this week in the community of Los Robles providing Children’s Bible School, assistance with new stove construction and office administration in the health clinic. If the rain stops in time, team members with a green thumb will plant an herb garden around the clinic.
Alpharetta Rotarians continue to spread good will throughout the world. A group of Rotarians traveled to Nicaragua from February 6 – 13, 2016 for an international service trip coordinated through HOI, Inc. and Communidad Conne
Alpharetta Rotarians continue to spread good will throughout the world. A group of Rotarians traveled to Nicaragua from February 6 – 13, 2016 for an international service trip coordinated through HOI, Inc. and Communidad Connect. The team consisted of club president Kirk Driskell and his wife Deena, John and Karen Hipes, Bennie Shaw, Bill Weeks and Tori Alterman.
The Rotary team traveled to the mountains of northern Nicaragua and stayed on a coffee plantation overlooking the east shore of Lake Apans called Finca El Peten. They worked in the nearby Los Robles community and provided concrete floors for houses with dirt floors thereby improving the health of those families; built an indoor stove that vents smoke outside the house to improve the health of that family; cleared land to help establish a new cemetery for the community; promoted health and sanitation for 60 children in the community; and provided the local clinic with medical supplies and hygiene kits that were donated by Alpharetta Rotary club members. At the conclusion of the trip, the team spent a day in the colonial city of Granada, Nicaragua and toured the city, took a boat ride on Lake Nicaragua, and visited the Mombacho volcano.
The Alpharetta Rotary team traveled to Nicaragua to work with and learn from the people of Los Robles, to help improve the health and quality of their lives, and to further Rotarys mission of Service above Self. Team leader John Hipes said, Nicaragua is the land of lakes and volcanoes. It is a beautiful country inhabited by beautiful people. While the people who live in the remote mountainous area of Nicaragua are poor and have many needs, they are rich in spirit, industrious, and very welcoming. It was a privilege to work with them in their community, learn about their lives, and as a result, learn more about ourselves.
President Kirk Driskell stated, Ive served a lot in Central and South America and this is the first time I served with the community rather than serving the community. The community of Los Robles and their willingness to help those in need is an awesome example of Rotarys motto of Service Above Self.
Rotary Club of Alpharetta
The Alpharetta Rotary Club was chartered on March 23, 1983. Its membership is comprised of approximately 115 men and women representing a broad base of business and professional activities in our community. We are committed to making our community, both locally and worldwide, a better place for all of us to live. We meet every Friday morning at 7:15 AM for breakfast, fellowship and a program with speakers from the academic, business, professional, political and entertainment arenas of metro Atlanta. Visit us on the web at www.alpharettarotary.com.
Originally published on http://newslink.northfulton.com/stories/Alpharetta-rotarians-traveled-to-nicaragua-to-help-improve-the-health-and-lives-of-the-people-who,88829#.VszadVOcF-d.mailto
2016 promises to be a year full of exciting new initiatives and the continuation of ongoing effective ministries. Here is a sneak preview of what’s ahead:
Clean Water at Point of Consumption
There’s a tsunami of clean life-giving water coming! Following the initiatives of the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Dunedin, FL) in Honduras and Comunidad Connect in Nicaragua, HOI has validated that the implementation of in-home water filter systems has a dramatic effect on the reduction of water-borne illnesses in our areas of operation. In response to this acquired knowledge, HOI has launched a major initiative partnering with groups and villages to implement a comprehensive hygiene education and filtered water program for hundreds of families in Honduras and Nicaragua. This effort will be jump-started by a generous grant from GlobalX, funded by the annual North Point Community Church “Be Rich” Campaign. Additional financial support will come from the recently launched Family Health Partnership program ($39 per month if you’d like to join) at HOI, and also from group community development support. The plan is to work with select mission teams to help provide education and materials for this effort. Local participants will commit financial resources and also invest time in training to learn the value of good hygiene, clean water consumption, and care and maintenance of their filters. Teams will help construct support tables and also assemble the filters and buckets for delivery. Our goal in 2016 is to install point of consumption filtration systems in at least 1000 homes. We have enlisted support from public health experts and the CDC to advise and monitor our program and results.
HOI has executed a third corporate partnership in southern Honduras, joining forces with another outstanding corporate organization that wishes to help improve the lives of the people living in that area of the country. An agreement of mutual support was signed with the Chorotega Foundation, the faith based philanthropic arm of the Chorotega Credit Union in Choluteca that is dedicated to helping start and nurture small businesses in Honduras. Chorotega will assist HOI teams with the logistics of working in the South, and will help our local staff build relationships and partnerships with the people we’ll serve. We hope to send a few teams with our new partner in 2016, so if you’d like to be an early adopter, just let us know. These are wonderful people to work with, as are our initial two partners Agrolibano and LUFUSSA, so we know you will have very rewarding and impactful experiences. We still have room for about 7 more teams with our partners in southern Honduras for 2016 if you’d like to help us in that area.
One of our medical team partners will be making a trip to San Lorenzo and Choluteca in 2016. In addition to these professionals, HOI would like to increase its logistical support to the two major hospitals in the area, Hospital San Lorenzo (HSL), and The Hospital of the South (Hospital del Sur, HDS). HSL is a smaller, well run institution that is becoming a model for the country, due in large part to of the efforts of our partner Agrolibano Foundation and other corporate sponsors.
HDS, on the other hand, is a very large public hospital that is underfunded and in desperate need of additional resources and support. Although the corporate partners are also helping this large organization, they are in need of significantly more resources. Upon a recent visit the massive over-crowding, lack of supplies, and equipment were heartbreaking to witness. The maternity ward, for example, delivers on average about 6,600 babies per year. As a result of the hospital’s poor conditions, it has become the norm for two women and their new born babies to share a bed with no sheets or pillows. There is also no potable water in the 250 bed hospital. HOI would like to play a catalytic role with local and international resources to help continue improvements at HDS so the health care professionals on staff can be much more effective serving the people of Choluteca.
We would also like to work with MedShare (medshare.org) for a medical supplies and equipment shipment to the Hospital of the South. We plan to work with Honduran corporate sponsors and other supporters to make this a reality. We are currently working on inventory needs, internal controls, and accountability to ensure efficient implementation.
Expanded educational and sports programs and ministries
Due to the success of our elementary and middle school programs, and growing demand for higher education and skills training in our area of influence, HOI is investigating the feasibility and advisability of developing a high school and career academy near Rancho el Paraiso. The flame of learning has been ignited in Olancho and almost 100% of our Hope Middle School graduates now desire to continue their education beyond the 9th grade. Building on our early economic development successes motivated by our catalytic agent, Smoke Rise Baptist, HOI places a high priority on job creation for the people of Olancho. To that end, our initial thought is that any additional educational offerings should include skills and career training.
As a wonderful 2015 comes to a close, and an exciting 2016 looms in the future, I wish you all a blessed Holiday Season and a healthy and happy New Year. Thank you for your continued generous support and unceasing prayers.
This is the joy and “esperanza” of Christmas, a blessed miracle of the highest order.
In the case of HOI, the appearance of the heavenly hosts wasn’t so “sudden” but they appeared nonetheless, over a period of many years, and for that we are thankful. I saw a quote stating that special education teachers are angels disguised as extraordinary human beings. I believe this to be true, and the same can be said for all those who are dedicated servants of so many ministries like HOI.
2015 has been a year of remarkable advances in the lives of thousands of people in Honduras and Nicaragua, thanks be to God. The staff and partners of HOI are feeling great humility and appreciation for all of you who were a part of making these life-changing efforts a reality.
In Light of these blessings we’ve all received, I want to reflect on the year by highlighting a few, just a few, of the many supporters who have been the angels disguised as extraordinary humans. Knowing it is dangerous to mention only a few because there are so many, gratitude to ALL compels me to take the risk of omission. I decided to identify a few sources of God’s love for our ministry and those we partner with in the villages of Honduras and Nicaragua. Our heartfelt thanks to:
• The graciousness of the people of Nicaragua and Honduras for accepting us into their homes and hearts as we struggle to discern and follow God’s will.
• The dozens of church partners and the over 1000 mission team members who are on point, on the ground, touching thousands of lives.
• All of our HOI staff members who are dedicated to spreading the light and hope of the Good News, and to helping create a path to improved health, education, and prosperity for all they encounter.
• Our quality partners: in Nicaragua, Comunidad Connect; and in Honduras, Agrolibano Foundation, LUFUSSA, and our new partner Chorotega Foundation.
• Our partnership with Young Life in Honduras, and our fantastic ministry team of Dani and Michael. What a blessing are they!
• The donors, supporters, sponsors, and participants of our events and special fundraising efforts.
• Our mentor and benevolent partner GlobalX.
• The HAVE Foundation and the Wilderness Team, our generous Education partners.
• The Peugot Center for Engineering Service at the Lipscomb University, for providing the wonderful 104 foot long pedestrian bridge that unites our two school campuses over a busy highway.
• Our specialty teams of health care and dental professionals and veterinarians who administer healing services to people and animals alike to improve the overall health of the communities.
• The musicians, dance instructors, and artists who expand the horizons of the youth and adults they encounter.
• The team of investors who provided our new tractor and farm implements to allow for expanded agriculture production improving our sustainability.
• The leadership of our HOI Chairman Scott Luttrell (I’ll hear about this, but I rarely get to publically thank our Board) and the entire team of former and current Board Members of HOI for their unbounded generosity and investment of time and talent.
We reflect on the year with hearts full of gratitude for everyone who has prayed, supported, traveled and invested with us. Thank you and God bless you all.
A few years ago the United Nations established World Water Day to highlight the importance of communities around the world having access to a clean water supply and the immeasurable value of sustainable development. Hundreds of NGO’s around the world have taken the clean water cause and made it their major mission focus. We stand in solidarity with these organizations and support their efforts as they help to transform the communities they serve through sustainable community efforts.
HOI is proud to be a part of the international movement to make clean water accessible to communities around the globe. Since 2013, HOI has had a partnership with Comunidad Connect, a community development organization stationed in Nicaragua, and supports the organization’s water initiative, Nica Agua. Nica Agua a dynamic program that provides families in need with low-tech, user-friendly water filters, called Filtrons, to combat the most prevalent illnesses in rural Nicaragua: diarrhea, parasites, and kidney infection. In order to receive a Filtron, participating families must invest 16 hours of community service in projects like road repair, bridge construction, school maintenance, and health seminars.
Much like HOI, Comunidad Connect is committed to empowering communities to take charge of their own health and future to ensure long term and sustainable transformation. The benefits of the program are both tangible and intangible, carrying both immediate and long term benefits. Not only do the filters help reduce preventable disease, but the social investment and sweat equity required to receive a filter help raise the communities’ awareness of health issues and encourages ownership of the solutions. Comunidad Connect has not only seen a dramatic decrease in diarrhea in the areas that they serve, but they have also seen a significant rise in the number of people interested in getting involved in the transformation of their communities. You can watch one of the stories of transformation below:
To learn more about Nica Agua’s clean water initiative you can visit Comunidad Connect’s website by clicking here. Although reading and hearing about the great work going on in Nicaragua is great, we encourage you to come see the transformation for yourself. Join us for a life changing mission experience to Nicaragua or one of our other two locations in Honduras and start making an impact toady!