Here in the United States, children everywhere are getting ready for the end of school and the upcoming summer vacation. In Nicaragua, however, the school year runs from February to November, which means school is in full swing. And Feed the Children is there to support and encourage these young people and help ensure their success.
Eleven-year-old Aslin is one of these students. She lives in a rural community with just a hundred other families. The village is so remote it’s only accessible by a bus that runs once a day. Most people walk where they need to go.
There’s very little economic opportunity in Aslin’s community. As a result, some one in five adults immigrate to other countries, such as Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and as far away as Spain, looking for work. Aslin lives with her maternal grandparents while her parents earn money in Costa Rica that they send home to support her. Aslin’s mother works in housekeeping and her father works in maintenance. Since moving to Costa Rica, they have since had another daughter, which means Aslin is separated from a sister as well as her parents. “I feel sad because my parents are not with me,” Aslin says.
It’s a hard situation. Aslin misses her mom and dad. Her grandparents do the best they can, but there’s very little money. Her grandfather works in agriculture for meager wages. Aslin’s house is humble; it is made of adobe and pieces of corrugated steel sheets, with a tiled roof and dirt floor. They are fortunate to have electricity and potable water in the house.
The family’s diet is humble. Breakfast may consist of tortillas, beans, coffee, and eggs (if available). Lunch is rice, beans, cheese or eggs, and on rare occasions, chicken with tortilla. Dinner may be fried rice and beans (called gallopinto) with tortilla, cheese, and coffee. Sometimes the family just has beans with tortillas and cheese.
Aslin is a sweet and happy girl. She helps at home by cleaning the house, washing the dishes, cooking, and watering the plants. When she was little, she suffered several common illnesses. But today she is very healthy, thanks in part to the support she’s received through Feed the Children’s the child sponsorship program. For the past several years, she’s received nourishing meals, a bookbag brimming with school supplies, and TOMS shoes twice a year through their giveaway program. She even receives a beloved toy every Christmas.
Aslin’s grandmother is grateful: “Feed the Children has provided so much to my granddaughter. She receives food that we lack sometimes. The school supplies are a great help, too—not just for her, but for everyone in the community who go through a tough situation.”
Aslin’s favorite subject is natural science. She would like to be a medical doctor when she grows up so she can help others children.
This is how the cycle of poverty is broken—through supporting children so they can grow into productive adults. With a little help and a little luck, Aslin can see her dreams become a reality.
You can be a hero to a child and his or her community. Make a difference through child sponsorship today.
A special thanks to Abdiel Navarrete for providing the content for today’s story.