Project Chacocente began in January 2003, in response to the pleas of a high-school-aged youth delegation called the Mission of Peace.*
“After visiting the vast, smoky wasteland of the Managua dump, the kids kept saying, ‘We have to do something,’” explains executive director Cheryl Avery. “At first, we tried to tell them how futile it would be to rescue people without the help of the government or a large NGO. But they insisted, and finally I stopped saying ‘But…’ and started asking ‘Why not?’”
“Once I started seeking an answer, the Lord gave me a vision of what this project would look like. It broke every rule in the book about community development, yet the vision gave me a peace and confidence that anything was possible.”
Five days after the MOP delegation left – having donated US$5,000 seed money – Project Chacocente was born. Eight families (roughly 55 people) are currently in the project, working, studying and achieving goals they never dreamed possible.
While our primary goal is to transform the lives of these people who lived at the bottom of the social ladder, our secondary goal is to show that an NGO can successfully work with the poorest of the poor, and to share that model worldwide with other NGOs.
* The Mission of Peace (MOP) is a United Methodist-sponsored experience for high school youth residing in the Northeast. The program is directed by Ted Anderson, 1100 South Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14620. [ph: 585-340-9525, email: firstname.lastname@example.org]