Scholarships to Rural Students
SHEAF/ESPIGA provides scholarships for rural high school students in the Matagalpa area, where the Macadamia Plantations are situated. Although high school education is free in Nicaragua, some students need assistance to pay for uniforms, supplies and travel costs. In this area most students require transportation to go to high school. The bulk of the population is located in small rural communities around the town of San Ramon where the high school is located. The majority of students attend high school on Saturdays and Sundays rather during the week because their labour is required on the family coffee farms. SHEAF/ESPIGA has been pleased to provide needy rural students with transportation, uniform and textbook costs.
Post Secondary Scholarships
SHEAF/ESPIGA grants part scholarships to post-secondary students. These scholarships are designed to cover transportation, school supplies and part of the tuition. Students tend to go to school on weekends and work during the week to help pay part of their tuition fees. The majority of the students SHEAF/ESPIGA supports come from a small community called Chaguitillo. A local committee, including the principal of the high school, vets students who submit applications for post-secondary studies. Once a student has been awarded a scholarship, SHEAF/ESPIGA will support the student until graduation if the student has had passing grades. The photo shows most of the students SHEAF is supporting. They are in first to fourth year of a post-secondary program including business administration, teaching, nursing, computer science and other technical programs. The photo includes 3 SHEAF board members, the local committee and a local Nicaraguan who administers the scholarships.
Teachers require specialized education to teach students with special needs. Teachers’ salaries in Nicaragua are too low to enable them to pay for this training. SHEAF/ESPIGA endeavours to help offset this cost by paying tuition fees. Currently SHEAF/ESPIGA is supporting seven teachers who are teaching in the School for the Deaf in Managua. SHEAF/ESPIGA believes special needs students are best supported by teachers who are well qualified to meet their unique needs and are thus pleased to be able to provide this help.
On completion of their post-secondary education, students are required to pay a graduation fee which can range from $700 to $1,200 dollars and is often beyond the means of most graduates. SHEAF/ESPIGA will provide financial assistance to offset this fee. If the fee is not paid, students do not receive their degree or diploma which affects their ability to obtain jobs and reduces their salary.
The graphic shows one of these invoices.
As well, SHEAF/ESPIGA has helped a young woman, Ileana, who graduated from pharmacy school, by granting her a micro credit loan to allow her to set up a pharmacy in the community of Chaguitillo which did not have a pharmacy. SHEAF/ESPIGA supported this student throughout her pharmaceutical studies and was delighted to be able to provide her with a loan for her pharmacy to serve the community in which she grew up. Arrangements have been made for timely loan repayment.
Ileana's journey from high school to pharmacist