About the Jim Burchell ¡Presente! Fund
Jim Burchell was the founder and driving force behind PeaceWorks, which has supported partner organizations in Nicaragua for over 25 years. His sudden death on March 24th, 2014 stunned and grieved the Peaceworks community and our partners in Nicaragua. To honor Jim and celebrate the ways his life and work are still `presente’, the Board of PeaceWorks is determined to raise at least $127,000 to support dynamic new initiatives of our Nicaraguan partners.
Latest Jim Burchell ¡Presente! Updates:
Inhijambia Program for Children who Work and Live in the Streets of Managua. In the summer of 2015, Inhijambia completed the new dormitory housing 12 to 14 girls.
For years to come, the most vulnerable girls served by Inhijambia will have safe haven — a place to live in hope, rather than fear. One of the teenagers said recently, “ I just want to be somebody.” Our community’s generosity and the support of churches and individuals has strengthened Inhijambia’s mission to pull young people from living in parks and abandoned buildings to a place where they are loved and valued–on the road to being that person that God created them to be.
Axayacatl Program for Women Fleeing Domestic Violence. Axayacatl’s mission of providing counseling, advocacy and economic support for domestic violence survivors touches our hearts and burdens our conscience. Through donations from Wilson Memorial Church, Connecticut Farms Presbyterian Church, Cranford Presbyterian, Fanwood Presbyterian and members of a church/Rotary delegation, the Presente Fund contributed $35000 toward construction costs for Axayacatl’s new center for women. The delegation led by Brooks Smith visited Nicaragua in early January and helped with construction for 3 days.
We know women throughout Nicaragaua battle machismo, poverty and alcoholism as well as domestic violence. Their new center is being built on land that they own and will be beautiful facility where they can expand their activities and programming and women can come to heal and grow. We seek additional ways to strengthen their organization including their micro-loan fund to help women gain more economic freedom.
The Federation of Rural Farmers FEDICAMP. The PeaceWorks delegation brought more than $17,000 to Fedicamp to support their work in the face of climate change and the La Niña-caused drought. Miguel Marin, director of Fedicamp, visited us last October. We have a wonderful interview that Denis Johnston conducted with Miguel that you can see on our website.
THE NEW YEAR’S CHALLENGE We are dedicated to responding to Inhijambia’s need for a new, used truck. Their current vehicle came to them used as a donation from Doctor’s without Borders in 2001. It’s falling apart, and seldom operates now. They need $25000 to purchase a used, but sturdy vehicle.
This year we also hope to provide major support for a project to bring potable water to 100 farm families in FEDAMP’s network. Miguel Marin explained that most farmers now have adequate water for their animals, but lack potable water for family consumption. WATER IS LIFE-WATER IS HEALTH. So we will be reaching out to the PeaceWorks community and hopefully partnering with some Rotary clubs in New Jersey to respond to this need. FEDICAMP has created a partnership with the Rotary Club of Esteli, the city where their office is located. Our dollar goal for this campaign has not been finalized; however, it will be substantial.
The joyous work continues.