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Shoreham Methodist Church support a number of charities.  One of our main charities is to support The Avocado Tree School in Nicaragua through the Amos Trust. Some of our members visited the school.

Please find below an article about one of our visits to the school.

From Shoreham to The Avocado Tree School in Nicaragua

Avocado School

As a Church, we have been supporting Avocado tree School for 11 years and during that time have raised over £25,000.  Recently, some members of the Church met with Chris Rose, the Director of Amos Trust, the charity through which our donations are paid.

We were told that our support of the Avocado Tree School has made a real difference. For those of us who have visited the school over the years, it is hard not to be inspired by the dedication of the staff and students.  I have been three times and each time, more buildings or facilities have been added. When I first went to Nicaragua in 2006, sometimes there wasn’t enough money to pay the teachers and one of them had recently lost his wife in childbirth because they didn’t have the money to get to the hospital for scans.  Since then, free healthcare and education has been made a priority by the government, but there is still a place for fee paying school like the Avocado Tree School, which tries to provide 30% of its pupil with free or subsidized places.  La Concepción, where the school is situated is in a poor area and a large percentage of parents are working in other countries such as Costa Rica, the USA or Spain, whether legally or illegally, and sending monies back to support their families.  When we spoke to some of the students in 2013, they spoke about the school being their home.  All were looking forward to staying in Nicaragua after they had finished their further education or training.  Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Central America and the Caribbean after Haiti.

The school was founded by Gilberto Aguirre, at the end of the civil war, which ravaged the country during the 1980s. Many will remember that Gilberto, visited Shoreham in 2014. The school is now independent and Gilberto is a trustee. He works for an organization called CEPAD which is also supported by Amos Trust. CEPAD was set up in 1972 to provide relief for victims of an earthquake which left the centre of Managua destroyed (it is still not rebuilt).  CEPAD now concentrates on providing training for poor communities and initial aid for individuals and groups to start their own agricultural projects.  It works with them for 5 years by which time they are expected to become self-sufficient.  Joel Rodriguez, who we will be welcoming to the Church on the 21st September, comes from one of these remote communities. The farmers in Nicaragua have been particularly badly hit by climate change and recently rains have not always come when expected.

Amos Trust seeks to highlight the needs of Nicaragua, a country  which is not much in the news. In future years, the charity will be refocusing its priorities in Nicaragua, giving more emphasis to the agricultural projects. After the visit of Joel, we may wish to consider supporting this as well as the Avocado Tree School.

Margaret Bedwell

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On the
Avocado School

Click for information on a previous visit to the School