Monday, July 18, 2011

Recent Visitors to the CCBN

In the last two months we’ve welcomed several visitors to the CCBN. Here are summaries of their visits:

In May, Alison, a short-term volunteer, accompanied the English class and worked on strengthening the Center’s evaluation skills. Alison hosted one-on-one tutoring sessions with our English students and encouraged them day-to-day, greatly building their confidence. She also led the monthly class reflection, which was on the theme of human rights, and hosted a staff relaxation hour. In addition to her work with the English class, Alison facilitated a workshop on community evaluation tools with a small group of scholarship students in which they learned about, designed, implemented and assessed their own community survey focused on the needs of youth in Batahola Norte. She also facilitated a workshop with staff about community evaluation tools, presenting the theory behind and practical application of surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Alison was a wonderful addition to our team, even if only for a short while, always sharing a smile and open to lending a hand wherever needed. The Center hopes to continue building on her workshops in the future, increasing our capacity to assess how we’re meeting the community’s needs and identify new needs as they arise.

In June, the CCBN welcomed a group of young women studying with the Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL) program at the College of New Jersey. These young women spent a day at the Center receiving a mural tour, hearing from scholarship students about their experience, participating in a dance class, and sharing experiences with the Center’s gender violence prevention project. During this exchange, Center speakers explained both the historical work done around women’s issues and violence prevention, as well as how the Center is currently addressing these needs. Then, the WILL group described the activities they organize on their campus to raise awareness of these same issues. It was a very meaningful exchange as both groups were excited to find they had so much in common in terms of their activism and work with women.

And also in June the CCBN received their annual visit from Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Cincinnati, OH. Their three days at the Center were jam packed with activities, including a reflection of the word and dinner with staff, a cultural presentation, a play dough activity with children, class visits, house visits, and a service project at a local elementary school with the older scholarship students. It was wonderful to see so much relationship-building taking place.The IHM group asked insightful questions about life in Nicaragua and shared how much they have heard about the Center in their parish and how excited they were about visiting. The Center staff and participants welcomed them with open arms and shared much about life and work in Batahola.

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