A week of fun and learning

The children are back and it is so rewarding to watch them develop and enjoy their educational experiences at CIELO de Amor classroom. With staff now working full time, we can plan appropriate curriculum, take careful notes of progress so we know what to teach next, make adaptations for individual needs, and do outreach at home and with other organizations. The quality of our services is certainly improving.

CIELO de Amor currently has 30 monthly donors. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. This is essential for paying staff salaries, and rental of the house where we store, distribute and repair wheelchairs, offer vocational program to young adults, and provide physical therapy and individualized education to the older children. We would love to have 30 more monthly donors so that we could cover the costs of our four local staff who we are now providing full benefits. They are truly the heart and soul of the project. Please put the word out to friends, colleagues, families, schools or businesses who you think may be interested in supporting the children and families of CIELO de Amor. Click on the donate now button at the top of this page, or go to our website. http://www.cielodeamor.org or contact us at info@cielodeamor.org. Muchas gracias.

Music is a part of our daily routine, and supports the children’s language, eye-hand coordination, bilateral hand skills, imitation skills, and is a whole lot of fun.

Sensory activities are incorporated for children of varying abilities, encouraging attention, imaginary play, cognitive skills, sensory experiences, fine motor development.

Writing is heavily emphasized in the schools in Nicaragua. We keep  writing skills fun and engaging by using varied mediums such as chalk, paint, markers, pencil, glue and face paints.

It is so rewarding supporting children being able to walk, opening up their worlds to so much, from greater independence, exploration, and building friendships.

For those who can not walk, providing them supportive wheelchairs that meet their individual needs allows them to access their community,  makes an enormous impact in their ability to use their bodies with greater control, prevents deformities, supports socializing, and overall improves their quality of life. Darling now has a tilt in space chair, so she is no longer sliding out of her chair when excited.

We have a modest selection of books, but enough so that we can loan books to families. Large and musical books have proven invaluable. We build literacy, numeracy, and cognitive skills from early childhood onward.

Thanks again to all our donors. If you are not yet a monthly donor, please consider it. It’s easy just follow the donate button at the top of the page. Muchas gracias.

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The crocheting begins

The three young people in our new vocational project have shown alot of motivation, patience, and persistence as they start to learn new skills. Jesua arrived an hour early on the third day and on his own initiative started preparing the bags at home. Esther has been teaching Miriam how to break the process into steps so everyone can be successful. Anke kindly visited and helped teach for one day.

Esther made some visuals. and the young people are now sharing the responsibility of cleaning up, bringing and preparing the fruit, without having to be told. Esther has also created evaluation forms so that we can track progress. Miriam is learning to evaluate the specific skills needed.

Cielo de Amor staff came to learn about the new vocational project. Jesua explained the process how to make the bag and Miriam demonstrated how to make the start of the bag. Staff were impressed with how quickly the young people are learning to crochet.

Anke brought some other items made from crocheted plastic bags. We had fun trying on the hat.

It’s really great to feel the energy and enthusiasm of everyone involved in this project.

A new project begins!

We are thrilled that Esther Schaer, a Swiss occupational therapist will be facilitating a pilot vocational project for youth with disabilities with CIELO de Amor in 2016. Esther has been working in Nicaragua for three years facilitating vocational work for adults with disabilities. She comes with lots of knowledge, experience, and connections. Esther Schär will be teaching Miriam, a local Nicaraguan, how to work with youth with disabilities and to take on leadership of the project. We are enormously thankful to Comundo, Coordinación Voluntarios Suizos CA, and AMS for making it possible for Esther to work with CIELO de Amor this year. Thank you.

Esther started by evaluating the interests, abilities, and hopes of the youth. The majority of the youth we met were interested in craft projects and had experience making a variety of crafts. None of them had a job. Jesua goes to school on Saturdays.

As the youth we met are interested in crafts we are going to start by making bags from used bags. We would like this project to be self sustainable and as the used bags are free, we are hoping this will be possible. All three were very excited about the possibility of earning some money. In the process we will be teaching about recycling, reuse, and environmental issues. Esther and Miriam taught Jader, Jesua and Maria Lousia how to fold the bags, cut and tie them into strips, and check the quality of the bags being used.

Esther is very organized and created a calendar and evaluations sheets so we can track progress. The team also made a poster to make the new space a welcoming environment. Family members were also welcome to visit and participate. Jader helped make fresh squeezed juice for the break. After day one everyone seemed very excited about the new project. We hope you will like our products, want to purchase them, and simultaneously support this new project. We will keep you posted