Fundación Manos Juntas initiated the scholarship program in 1996 for needy students from Nicaragua. During one of our medical mission trips to Nicaragua, we realized that many young people are faced with a seemingly impossible task of completion of their school because of inability to pay even the basic costs of education.
We met several kids with dreams to go to school, obtain a degree, and a decent job. The reality is that Nicaraguan students are often torn between helping their families to survive and continuing their studies. The serious economic crisis and the extreme levels of poverty of the country, forced them to drop off school to sell any goods in the market, major road intersections, or in neighborhoods to bring home a bite to eat. With luck, but more importantly with a strong desire to be good individuals and the perseverance to help their families, this won't let them fall in vandalism, drugs, alcohol, or prostitution.
We urgently wanted to do something for these kids. The only way to break the cycle of poverty that grips poor families in Nicaragua is through education. We decided to create the Manos Juntas Scholarship Program to provide a great opportunity to Nicaraguan students to achieve their dreams. From 1996 to 2007, Fundación Manos Juntas worked with FUNDECI (Nicaraguan Foundation for the Community Development). Both foundations joined efforts and worked together in the recruitment of needy students and in the administration and management of the Scholarship Program. From 2008 to present, Manos Juntas has been working with faculty members from UNAN-Managua (National Autonomous University of Nicaragua - Managua) and UNI (National University of Engineering) to recruit students. Now, many of our students have graduated and are working. Education has been a great investment to improve the life of these kids.
Since the initiation of Manos Juntas Scholarship Program, we have been recruiting needy high-school or university students every semester. We generally look for enrolled students who have clear goals about their carreers, have the desire to study and have good grades, but can't afford to continue when they are faced with tuition, books, and transportation costs. our approach is to keep them at school to obtain their degrees and not to quit because can't pay the daily transportation fee.
We are aware that education plays an important role for the future prosperity of Nicaragua. We want to help students to gain knoeledge and skills to make a decent living and to contribute in diversifying Nicaragua's economy.
The Manos Juntas Scholarship Program consists of a monthly monetary help between $25.00 and $50.00 depending on the level of education. The idea is to provide them a moderate amount of money so they can have the choice to spend it based on their specific needs either to pay for transportation, books, school supplies, or food.
Every year Manos Juntas has approximately 20-30 scholarship students. We have met many students with incredible needs. Most of them live in extreme poverty. We wish to help them all but our resources and donors are limited. The students are carefully selected based on their economic situation, academic performance, and strong desire to improve their lives. Join us in this effort...