Empowering Communities Through Education
Founded in 2001 as a nonprofit charitable organization, GoCare endeavors to work with communities in Nicaragua to develop and implement educational and economic programs to empower both adults and children. This is done through tuition in reading, math, English, computer literacy and vocational training, as well as providing pre-school and day care facilities. By creating opportunities for education, GoCare encourages independence with the aim of reducing poverty. It also seeks to inspire students who have benefited from the programs to become mentors in their communities, thereby benefiting the next generation.
With its headquarters in Ventura, California, GoCare is registered with both US and Nicaraguan government authorities as a non-government, nonprofit organization. The organization was the initiative of a group of Rotarians who set about developing programs in Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua to address the extreme poverty in rural areas by providing opportunities for education. GoCare’s founder, Jan Lindsay, was introduced to the community of Pantanal, near Granada, on his first trip to Nicaragua and was deeply touched by the plight of the people living there. His desire to help the Pantanal community to lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty they were in, led to the creation of GoCare. Today there is a thriving community center (appropriately named the Lindsay Community Center) at Pantanal, which is funded primarily by donations to the GoCare organization. Through its “Come Back to Give Back” program, more than 300 students who have benefited from GoCare’s education opportunities participate in mentoring programs even while they are pursuing college degrees.
Promoting the philosophy that “an education is a foundation that will live forever” GoCare”s resources are spent on educational materials and facilities. Certified by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, GoCare’s adult literacy classes are attended by more than 100 students in the Pantanal region who are determined to gain the knowledge which will open up better employment opportunities, thereby improving the lives of their loved ones – with the spinoff of improving the general quality of life in Nicaragua.
Little ones at preschool and day-care are provided with the necessary resources and tuition to aid their emotional, social and personal development; learn communication, language and literacy skills; develop the ability to reason and solve problems as well as understand numeracy concepts; and develop both physically and creatively.
Other education opportunities supported by GoCare include computer literacy programs, vocational training in such skills as sewing and baking, and lessons in the English language, which is of growing importance in the tourism industry and other fields in Nicaragua today.
Noting that today there are 2.6 billion people (40% of the world’s population) who live on $2 per day or less, Jan Lindsay of GoCare promotes his belief that education is the key to change, as people are empowered to help themselves and their communities – and the enthusiasm with which the community in Pantanal, Nicaragua, has embraced GoCare‘s opportunities for education shows that hope for a better future is strong.