A student at the Mirra Student Center is one of 50 children to take a computer course at the project.
The day the teachers at the Mirra Student Center (NI-111) in Nicaragua unpacked their new computers, they knew they wouldn't get anything else done. Children crowded around, giggling at their reflections in the monitor and trying to figure out what kind of toys the computer mice were. Most didn't even know what a computer was, but they could tell by the excited buzz in the school and community that they were getting something very special.
Marlene Chavarrí¡¬ coordinator of the Mirra Student Center, says she has never witnessed such a response from the community as the one generated by the computer lab's project.
"Most of these children had never touched a computer," says Marlene. "Through the computer lab, children have felt the love of Jesus. They've realized they can surpass themselves."
"I Want to Teach Other Children..."
When sponsors and donors give to Compassion's Complementary Interventions program, project staff are able to purchase educational tools, including the computers at the Mirra Student Center. Delian Maradiaga, a 10-year-old who dreams of being an engineer, is just one of the students benefiting from the center's new computer lab. In Nicaragua, like many developing countries, children in poverty have little access to computer training, which is necessary for many jobs. The cycle is being broken for children like Delian who are learning valuable computer skills at a young age.
"Before the computer classes I wanted to become a lawyer when I grew up, but now I want to be a computer engineer because I want to teach other children at the project (about computers)," says Delian.
A Great Blessing
Delian's mother, Adina, works in the kitchen at the Mirra Student Center. She has made many sacrifices to provide for her family, and she admits that without the computer classes, her little boy would have never had the opportunity to learn the valuable computer skills that will one day help him find a job.
"I feel happy for the opportunity given to Delian," says Adina. "I am a person of limited financial resources. I couldn't have ever paid for Delian to go to a computer course. It is a great blessing for us."
Lives Are Changed
In just five months, nearly 50 children were trained in basic computer programs, which Marlene describes as a life-changing experience. She hopes to see the computer project expand to other Compassion-assisted centers in Nicaragua.
"The entire community is grateful to Compassion for the computer training," says Marlene. "The vast majority of these families are so poor they have difficulty even sending their children to school.
"Computer knowledge is a key requirement at companies when applying for a job nowadays.
"Therefore, you can feel joyful you donated to a good cause."
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