Dear Friend of The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic,
I’m inviting you to share in our collective success in supporting families in the struggling region of southwestern Nicaragua.
Despite the numerous challenges facing these families, their positive spirit is palpable. They are grateful for the Clinic’s programs and eager to partner with us in making strides toward better health, more educational opportunity and greater resource sustainability for their community and especially for their children.
The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic and Wellness Center opened its doors in 2004. Several years ago, it started the very special and successful Padrino Program. This program is constantly in demand by the Clinic’s families – with an ever-growing waitlist – and is vital in times of crisis, providing food, medicines, educational supplies and community support.
Currently, 67 children in 47 families are part of this program. Thanks to the monthly financial support of the sponsor each child is matched with (we call these sponsors “Padrinos” and “Madrinas”), these children are able to access healthcare and receive a formal education. Children in the Padrino Program have lab tests twice a year to assess their health and receive appropriate treatment for any medical conditions. Plus, sponsors’ financial support helps provide essential school supplies, uniforms and backpacks.
Many Padrinos and Madrinas even exchange emails and handwritten notes with their sponsored children, creating a positive relationship that in many cases spans continents.
CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE WAITING FOR YOU…
OUR MEASURABLE SUCCESS
A total of 85 families have participated in our Padrino Program to date. The goal of the program is to support these families’ commitment to education, give the children the supplies they need to go to school, and help them stay in school (many drop out before they turn 16) and go on to university.
Our Padrino Program also helps with participants’ expenses while they are attending university. Since we started the program, 13 of our participants have started university, including two who have already graduated! We are working to get a high percentage of our Padrino Program participants all the way to university from early childhood. Of the children who started in our program, 89% have stayed with it.
ESMILCE’S STORY – OVERCOMING THE ODDS
One of our Padrino participants is a very special 11-year-old named Esmilce. She is currently in sixth grade and lives in the Gigante community with her parents. Esmilce is a survivor of rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer in the abdominal muscle), which is in remission.
Her father, Don Lester, has fought every day to see his daughter healthy. He came to the Clinic in search of support for Esmilce’s critical condition. The Clinic family has joined his efforts to ensure more opportunities for his little angel.
Through the Padrino Program at the Clinic, Esmilce was able to travel with her father to Managua three times a week to follow up with a specialist and comply with her chemotherapy until remission. This would not have been possible without donors, like the Padrinos and Madrinas, and our Clinic, as Esmilce’s family has limited financial resources. And she continues to travel once a month for her medical appointments with an oncologist.
Through the Clinic, Esmilce also receives nutritional support with fortified foods, which are essential to cope with her illness and treatment.
Every year through the Padrino Program, the Clinic provides her with a school package (which includes uniforms, shoes, a backpack and notebooks, among other supplies), a medical checkup with laboratory tests, a nutritional checkup and preventive deworming. This allows her to attend school and enjoy a happy childhood, growing up healthy, strong and full of dreams.
Here’s another one of our favorite success stories…
RICARDO’S STORY – MAKING DREAMS A REALITY
Ricardo is a 22-year-old young man with big dreams and the drive to achieve them.
He entered the Padrino Program in 2012 at the age of 14. He and his younger sister were raised by their father and grandmother, since their mother had abandoned them when they were small.
His father, Don Ricardo, did his best for his children, despite his limitations and health problems (he had diabetes). Don Ricardo was part of the Clinic’s Diabetes Club, receiving specialized medical care, medication and diabetes education. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2019 due to complications from COVID-19. The Clinic family was by Ricardo and his sister’s side in those difficult times.
Young Ricardo’s attitude toward life is worthy of admiration and sets an upstanding example for many children and young people within the Padrino Program. With the support of the Clinic through the Padrino Program, Ricardo has managed to continue his studies. He is currently finishing university, graduating with a degree in English and working as an English teacher at a local community school.
THE DIFFERENCE YOU CAN MAKE
As part of the Padrino Program, we provide some communication between children and their sponsors. This personal connection lifts the spirits of both those receiving and giving aid. Continuing support throughout the year allows each child in our program to feel more secure in their education as well as in their health.
When you sponsor a child, our program coordinator will communicate with you by email twice a year about the progress your sponsored child is making in school. These messages will also include a report from the doctor on the child’s current developmental and nutritional status. You can get your child’s picture, and you can share encouragement and inspiration that you believe will help the child grow as a person and improve their performance at school.
In addition, the children who participate in the Padrino Program and their families also join our Nutrition Program. As part of this program, we deliver protein concentrate, rice and beans. It’s a service that is extremely necessary at this time in Nicaragua.
We believe in this type of child sponsorship program because you are not just helping the child get ahead. You are also helping their parents, brothers and sisters… as well as the entire community. It tackles poverty and empowers children, families and communities to become self-sustaining. It also provides a one-to-one relationship that gives a child in need hope for a brighter future and changes their world for the better.
We critically need more sponsors right now. We have a waitlist of children that continues to grow. These children are in desperate need of your help. Your support will have a positive impact on an entire community’s well-being.
Here is what your generous donation could provide for a child in Nicaragua:
- With a $25 per month donation for one year, one student could afford to purchase two sets of school uniforms and the necessary books, backpack and school supplies to fully engage in their school experience.
- With a $50 per month donation for one year, one student could afford to purchase two sets of school uniforms and the necessary books, backpack and school supplies, as well as an entire year of healthcare protection. This includes a bimonthly visit to our Clinic, medicine as needed, nutritional assistance with vitamins and supplements, and a vaccination program. This level of giving provides a student with the comprehensive resources needed to succeed in school and beyond.
For many people, knowing exactly where their money is going is important and helps them feel more confident in the donations they are making.
There is no doubt about it: Your sponsorship will make a huge difference in the life of a child.
Ready to become a sponsor?
Please click here to learn more about the program and help a child today.
The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic is 100% supported by donations. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in Maryland, so all donations are tax-deductible. We accept funds through PayPal, check or credit card.
To get started with a child and their family in the Padrino Program – or to donate to support our other programs, like clean water filtration and distribution, diabetes support, emergency care, and much more – please click here.
Julia C. Guth
Chair of the Board
The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic