Casa del Niño “House of the Child”
Rural women face many obstacles to getting health-care. In bringing the exams to their communities, we remove a major obstacle and save lives.Rosario González
Located in the small, charming town of San Ramon, Casa del Niño was originally started by a group of mothers whose sons were away at war. The center’s mission is to provide a variety of enrichment activities for all ages that promote of preventative healthcare through the use of natural medicines and a mobile health clinic which offers low cost pap smears for women.
The center gives classes in music, art, and sewing. The Center also gives micro-loans for sustainable agriculture and small business enterprises. Staff works with young, rural populations to develop their communities as tourist attractions and promotes the formation of environmental advocacy clubs for youth.
Casa del Niño provides youth groups with start-up funds for the construction of cabins and establishment of medicinal plant gardens, teaching young people to work in teams and take pride in the natural beauty and rich culture of their communities. To generate funds for this community tourism project, the plants produced by these youth groups are sold back to the Casa del Niño’s Medicinal Pharmacy, providing the people of San Ramon information and access to traditional medicinal remedies.
Casa del Niño has also recently begun construction on an art school. The school will serve as an extension of the National Institute in Managua, making a professional career in art education more accessible to the students of their town. This new haven of creativity will also be used for affordable guitar, dance, painting, sculpture, and drawing classes for children aged 7-13.
In addition to their work with young people, each Friday, as part of the Programa de Ancianos, elders walk from their rural communities to Casa del Niño’s center to visit with each other, learn crafts, sing songs, and share nutritious food. ProNica also funds Casa del Niño’s mobile clinic, providing PAP exams to rural women. Costing up to $15 in a clinic far from their remote communities, this very critical form of preventative health care would otherwise not be available for the 270 rural women that were served in 2012.
What You Can Do
$5 can provide one pap smear (cervical cancer screening) to a woman in a rural community, potentially saving her life and supporting the well being of her family. $200 can provide a micro-loan for sustainable agriculture and for a local woman to start her small business. Repaid loans return to a revolving fund to help other members of the community succeed.