What is an Enrichment Center?
In the United States, Enrichment Centers exist to come alongside schools and homeschool families to add value to the overall education of the student. On any given day you can find classes in French, guitar, etiquette, coding, or any other plethora of subjects you can think of. By adding to a child’s curriculum, you’re developing their self-confidence and discipline, while teaching them new skills and talents.
At Enrich Missions in Nicaragua, we seek to develop children in the same way, but in a third world environment. The things that hold a child back from reaching their full potential here in Central America are common throughout all of Nicaragua. Things like hunger, lack of school materials, overcrowding, and poor health. These things already have answers and resolutions, but lack a structure to apply them in. Here’s how we’re changing that.
Finding the right location is the first step to building an Enrichment Center. We’re looking for a church that has a heart for community outreach within walking distance of a public school in a rural area. All of our ministry works with the local church, not for the local church. We’ve found in our years of ministry experience that having people working toward the same goal spurs community growth. The church needs to be open to renovating / rebuilding, and willing to put volunteers on the job for various tasks.
Our ministry launch starts with feeding kids from the local school and grows from there. Once the feeding program is underway and everyone understands the goal, we develop the other aspects of ministry; tutoring, providing school materials, medical checks and improving the school. This is the most labor intensive part of the process, along with prepping food and constructing the Enrichment Center.
Paying attention to the teachers and staff helps us to know how effective we are as a
ministry. How many kids are being tutored and are their grades improving? Are kids growing better and paying attention more in class due to the feeding program? Are the bigger kids tutoring the smaller kids correctly? What other gaps can we fill? By measuring these metrics we know we’re utilizing our time and resources in the best possible way.
We have an opportunity to reach out to the community as a whole through the local school kids. Are there elderly people who could benefit from the feeding program as well? Kids can deliver food and juice. Is there a house that’s fallen down in a storm? We can lead a team of volunteers, either from the US or from Nicaragua, in a community construction project. By leading people into ministry we develop community pride and a sense of dignity, two things that are normally lacking in this kind of environment.
This is not a short process. When we start in a community we are committing our time, our hearts, and our money to improving the local school. We eat and share life with the people who live there. We worship, love, and serve as one body. Missionaries that come from the US have an opportunity to experience this deep, personal ministry.
Our ministry is meant to be replicated many times over. Our hope is to develop a community through the local church, and after time have the local church be running the day to day tasks. This frees us to find other rural, impoverished schools and start the process over again. We want others who feel a missionary calling on their lives to come and work and help us develop Enrichment Centers. By working together, we can impact countless communities!
We need help with this amazing, huge, impactful vision. Come on a trip and get your hands dirty.