Committee

About The Committee



"It is heartening to see so many volunteers of such diverse backgrounds, ages, and life experiences freely giving of their time and energy to participate in this project. The extreme poverty of the people we encounter on our trips reminds us how fortunate we are, and calls us immediately to lend a hand to alleviate their dire circumstances. Without hesitation, the students on our trip become teachers, the businessmen grab bricks and mortar and become builders, the women establish relationships and become organizers and healers. Everyone takes an interest and a responsibility. You start out thinking you are doing well by giving to the poor, but the reality is that that you end up taking as much as you give. Upon returning, you realize what truly is important, and you discover you have become a more complete and fulfilled human being."
-Tom Pirro

The purpose of Project Nicaragua is to raise people's awareness of the needs of a third world country especially in Amatitan, Nicaragua. Some of our parishioners have been down there to explore these needs and to participate in various projects within the community. For several years, our parish community has worked with the local Students for 60,000 from Northport to help our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua financially, spiritually, physically and medically.

We realize that our humanitarian efforts in Nicaragua, are only the beginning of a long and necessary commitment. It is an ongoing effort, with results that make a definitive difference in the quality of life for those it is able to reach. Our goal is to provide as much assistance as possible, in order to enable the poor of Nicaragua to overcome the problems of their poverty. We intend to continue our existing programs, and expand our levels of aid in each of our targeted areas. We thank you for your support.

Achievements:

  • Built 18 houses and made major repairs to 6 others.
  • Built a water tower and distribution system for the centralized area of Amatitan. Creating a source of clean drinking water for the majority of Amatitan remains one of our important objectives.
  • Completed the construction of a church in Amatitan. The shell was begun many years ago but only a couple of exterior walls had bee completed. After years of laying dormant the walls were prepared a roof was built, doors were hung, electricity was installed and the community finally had their long awaited place of worship. The church is called: The Church of the Holy Spirit (La Iglesia del Espiritu Santo.)
  • Created an economic development fund that provides micro loans up to $300 to help residents to purchase the needed supplies to start small businesses.
  • Started a sewing cooperative to serve the community and provide much needed employment opportunities.
  • Created a medical fund to help residents purchase prescription drugs that they could not.
  • Distributed donated dental supplies and coordinated a dental care program through the local schools. This was an important first step, although much more attention is required in this area.
  • Installed 6 computers with printers in the Amatitan and Chacraseca schools. This has enabled the teachers to create much needed educational materials to enhance the learning experience for hundreds of students.
  • Scholarships for primary and secondary school have successfully increased local school attendance. Today more than 150 students receive assistance including 5 college level students.
  • Through the efforts of local parishioners, OLQM brought an 18 year old Nicaraguan boy to the United States for successful retinal eye surgery. His progressive illness had left this young man virtually blind. Through the persistence of his sponsors and the generosity of a famous New York eye surgeon who donated his services, this young man's life was changed. He returned to Nicaragua with his site restored after spending 3 months with a local family in Centerport.
  • Emergency transportation is now provided by a shared community truck. This vehicle has saved lives by providing the only emergency transportation available to nearby medical services for numerous individuals.
  • Each year, our staff has distributes hundreds of suitcases filled with clothing, tools, medical supplies, books and school supplies to this impoverished area during our annual visits. These items have a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of local residents. Simple items we may take for granted are treasured by the people of Amatitan.
  • A portion of the funds we received also helped to fund Other programs. One such program is dedicated to helping handicapped children in the neighboring city of Leon. This donation provided needed equipment to assist a local organization in meeting the special needs of these children. In addition, OLQM contributes financial support to The Students For 60,000. This organization makes annual trips to the neighboring area of Chacraseca to perform many of the same services we provide in Amatitan. We have worked together with this organization for several years to provide assistance to the people of Nicaragua.

Officers

Joseph Martin............Chair
Victoria Ripoll-Kennis...Vice Chair
Tim Pillion..................Treasurer
Joan Verardo.............Recording Secretary
Liz Roberts................Corresponding Secretary

Contributions

All contributions to Project Nicaragua are received into a general fund for the spiritual and humanitarian needs of this impoverished region. All administrative and organizational costs are performed by unpaid volunteers, enabling our organization to devote 100% of all donated funds for the direct benefit of the people of Nicaragua.

Each expenditure is carefully planned and reviewed to ensure the maximum benefit is derived. Through the generosity of our contributors, Project Nicaragua has provided the financial assistance to educate hundreds of children, build homes for scores of families, provide safe drinking water, deliver medical supplies and services , and assist the people of Amatitan in completing the construction of their church, La Iglesia de Espiritu Santo.

 

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish
53 Prospect Road
Centerport, NY 11721

Phone: (631) 757-8184
Fax: (631) 757-8181
E-mail: rectory@olqmparish.org

© 2008