Mayflower Medical Outreach Continues its Work in Nicaragua

By Monica Falk

February 22, 2020


 

In a world where there exists so much poverty, injustices and disasters, natural and man-made, it leads one to wonder, where is the good? I am here to tell you that love, light and goodness are everywhere too.

In my little corner of the world, in the northern mountains of Nicaragua, there is a light that shines brightly and a special place where hope springs eternal for a small group of deaf children. The Albergue Mayflower in Jinotega is indeed such a place. It is a residential hostel where deaf children remote northern communities can live, go to a school for special needs kids, learn sign-language, get an education and learn vocational skills. Mayflower Medical Outreach is the foundation that makes this possible.

These kids face incredible challenges in a country that can’t really provide the services they need. Most deaf people born and raised in these rural communities lead extremely lonely and dependent lives due to their limitations in language. These children often come from homes where many of their families don’t know how to read or write, who want more for their children but don’t know how to help them.

Imagine not having language to express yourself – your fears, your happiness, your ideas, your thoughts? How hard would it be to have meaningful friendships without being able to communicate? It is incredibly isolating. Mayflower offers families of deaf children an opportunity to give their child the education and socialization that every child should have access to.

Life at the albergue is anything but dull. There are 24 deaf children ages 8-20, from 1st grade to seniors in high school. Some children have been coming to the albergue since its beginning about 11 years ago. What we have seen is that these children thrive in an atmosphere of love, respect, and friendships. They thrive when they can start to communicate with each other in sign language and are in an environment that makes them realize that their disability doesn’t have to keep them from their dreams. They thrive when they see that there are other kids with the same disability that are learning computers, learning carpentry or learning how to drive.

Last year we had our first high school graduate from the albergue, Jaciell. He came to the albergue when he was only 8 years old. Several members from Mayflower in Oklahoma City came to witness and participate in celebration of this event. It was an emotional day for all of us. We have 5 students in their senior year in high school that will be graduating this year. I gush with pride when I look at how far they have come and how they struggled to get to this point. I watched them grow and deal with all the difficulties of their teenage years. I now see the younger ones look up at them and think, “That will be me someday.”

Mayflower Medical Outreach is funded through donations and grants, and 95% of all donations are used directly in Nicaragua. Besides the albergue for deaf children, Mayflower maintains an audiology clinic year-round, and has been providing hearing aids and audiometric testing for thousands of Nicaraguans. We have medical brigades twice yearly which provide delicate surgeries not available anywhere in Nicaragua. Our next brigade will be coming to Nicaragua in early March. To find out how you can support our efforts, go to our website www.mayflowermedical.org

 

Blog Display Image: 
English