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Save Peaceworks Aid Shipment to Nicaragua

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The 59th Humanitarian Aid Shipment to Nicaragua is in desperate need of funds or it may not be able to deliver the goods it has collected in the last 6 months to the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere!

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Enclosed please find the letter from the Director of Peaceworks regarding the financial situation which threatens to keep the shipment from occurring:

Dear Friend,

Perhaps this year it's just too much of a leap.

It always feels like we take on more than we can chew. It's the nature of the beast. The needs we witness in Nicaragua are too great, the results of our work carried out through our Nicaraguan partners are too real, the people with whom we work are too inspirational for us not to take our annual leaps of faith.

The leaps of faith are embodied in our aid collections, our financial pledges of support to our partner organizations, as well as in our ongoing educational programs.

The faith part is that we'll find the resources with which to make the leap happen successfully. For the first time in a long while, however, that faith is being challenged. If the donation trend of the past few months continues, there will not be enough to pay for our upcoming aid shipment, for our emergency funding of Inhijambia, never mind for our ongoing organizational expenses if the donation trend of the past few months continue.

Of course we realize that many parts of the world have been screaming more loudly in crisis and pain already this year. We also understand that our nation's economic recovery has not reached the vast majority of people stricken by the financial crisis. And we realize that Nicaragua only rarely commands news media attention these days. Unfortunately, none of that diminishes the continuing need for our work with our Nicaraguan partners.

Cleta Ciulla of the Rockland County, NY Sister City Project — one of our aid shipping partners — recently noted this in a letter to me from Nicaragua where she works much of the year: "For the average Nicaraguan, the doubled price of beans and other things makes life that much more difficult. So things are hard here but as always there are pockets of hope. Believe me the things shipped on the container are a real blessing. They serve many, many people. We are fortunate to be able to work with the community leaders who know where the need is greatest."

Cleta's words testify to the continuing need for our aid shipments and other work with the people of Nicaragua. We continue to make daily impacts on the lives of many Nicaraguans. Our Nicaraguan partner organizations work with the poorest of the poor and those still suffering from violence and exploitation. They empower through literacy, food security, and programs to foster economic self-sufficiency. They deserve our continued support and accompaniment.

We are stepping up efforts to seek funding from foundations, religious organizations, and new supporters. You could help us in that regard by sharing our fundraising appeals with your networks of family and friends whether those be online, mouth-to mouth, regular mail, or smoke-signal networks. Help us reach out to new possible supporters so new people can take part in this task of human dignity in the words of our departed friend, Thelma Fernandez Solis.

We hope you will help us in your own way, small or large according to your means and abilities. Please start by making a tax-deductible donation today and by coming to our April 16 dinner forum. Spread the word, use our website ( to communicate with your networks. Here are some further appeals, upcoming events and resources.

■Special Appeal from Inhijambia. As we have mentioned in our last mailing, this incredible organization working with the young street children of Managua, is facing a serious shortfall in funding due to the elimination of support from a Spanish foundation that ceased operations. Mirna Sanchez worked furiously to make up for that loss and now has promises from other European groups to make up all but about $7500 needed to continue programs at their current level. PeaceWorks committed to filling that final funding gap — coming out to $750 per month spread out from March through December. We made our first payment in March, but our ability to come through with more assistance lies in doubt at this point. Please help us continue these donations through the end of the year.
■Continuing Resistance and Repression in Honduras. You would think with all the news media coverage of protests of illegitimate governments, for democracy and human rights in the Middle East, we would see more coverage of the continuing government sponsored violence against the Honduran popular movement. But nada, nothing. Please see the enclosed Common Dreams article about ongoing events since the illegal 2009 military coup. And we hope you will come to our April 16 dinner forum featuring Honduran activist Lucy Pagoada who we have been fortunate to speak with us before about Honduras. We have included a flyer. Please note that we have changed the date of this dinner to April 16 from April 9 to make sure Lucy was available for the presentation.
■Helping at the Dinner Forums. Not only does it take a village to raise a child, it helps to have a few helpful souls on hand to set-up for our monthly dinner forums and other events. Please let us know if you are interested in helping set up tables or shred cheese, along with all the other work it takes to put on our events. Just call me, send me a message to, and/or indicate you willingness to help on the response form below.
■Take Part in Our 59th Leap of Faith on May 7. We're at it again with another aid shipment to our Nicaraguan partner organizations. Supplies are already accumulating in my garage. Our friends in Nicaragua tell us about the impact our aid has on the lives of many people: the disabled woman now able to walk about community for the first time in many years with the help of one of our walkers; the young women of Inhijambia able to begin independent living with the help of our household appliances and clothing; the FEDICAMP members able to plant more trees and gardens with the help of our wheelbarrows, shovels, and other tools. Just one month away — plenty of time to gather life-affirming aid and to raise the funds necessary to pay for all the shipment expenses but only with your help, encouragement, and donations. Visit our website to learn more about how you can help — and please spread the news through your personal online networks.
■Hula-Hoops and Scooters for the children of Inhijambia. Leave it to kids to point out the important things in life. As Mirna Sanchez says in her enclosed letter: "Before you sent us these devices [hula-hoops and scooters] we were totally focused on other priorities . . . for our girls, things like that were the stuff of dreams." So let's send the children of Inhijambia more hula-hoops and scooters for their continuing delight and creativity.
Musical Instruments for Cusmapa. We have enclosed a special appeal to collect musical instruments and supplies for the youth chorus of Cusmapa, Nicaragua. They have performed for two of our delegations — next year we will make sure we take some good video so we can share their music with you. So please help them improve their program with more instruments and the other supplies listed on the flyer.
■"It's not cool to be Machista!" So reads the slogan of a new campaign reaching out to Nicaraguan men to challenge the culture of machismo and violence against women, as described in the enclosed article from the Nicaragua News Bulletin. We have seen the effects of that culture through our work with the Masaya Women's Collectives as well with Inhijambia where many of the children in their programs have been the victims of violence. The campaign is another sign that a better world is possible through the changes taking place in people's hearts and culture.
Please help provide the fuel that continues to ignite and sustain our leaps of faith. I hope you will continue to support PeaceWorks by making a tax-deductible contribution, collecting some scooters and hula-hoops, donating a guitar or conga drum, or by whatever means you choose to take part in our continuing mission. We need you.


Jim Burchell, PeaceWorks

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