2017 Bulletin

Published on:

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Out with the old…

We’re just a little bit excited to share with you what we achieved last year and what has already been going on this sunny January in Nicaragua! Thanks to all of your support we, despite many challenges, have continued to grow and win awards in 2016 (we had to sneak that in somewhere) … Here’s a little insight into what we got up to last year:

  • EEP moved! We have a new center in the middle of Managua which has better conditions for students and staff.
  • This move allowed us to open up a Boutique with a Café for our label CHURECA CHIC on the same premises. In doing so, we have converted what started all those years ago as the EEP handicraft programme, into the commercial arm of our NGO.
  • We doubled the target group of women from 20 to 40 students.
  • Our EEP staff team expanded: our new colleagues are EEP graduates. To have colleagues who themselves have come up through our job skill training programme is hugely motivating.
  • 95% of the graduate class of 2015 remained in their jobs.
  • EEP was awarded twice for its social impact and innovative hybrid NGO and social enterprise model. CHURECA CHIC also scooped up some prizes (3 to be precise) You can find out more on our social media and our website news section.

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And in with the new…

The class of 2017 started their journey of education and job skill training just 3 weeks ago. With an average age of 28, our newest beneficiaries are young, observant and on the whole advanced in their abilities surrounding reading and writing. What is apparent is the need for psychological and social development: in our alternative education classes they will be learning new life skills; studying household income management and learning how to use computers.

At the end of the year they will go into employment for the first time. Alongside this most inspiring element of EEP, we have many other goals for 2017 including the completion of a digital platform for the EEP alternative school education programme.

As with every year, we will be staying in consistent contact with our graduates of 2016. For us, in order to have a real social impact it is imperative that we continue to support our women as they carry on their journey for 18 months after they leave the programme. The transition for a women from studying with us into their first full time job is not the easiest. We therefore promise to always support them.

What we do here is not just about the project itself but it is also about continuously developing our award-winning EEP philosophy and organisational culture. This year we will continue to offer regular English classes for our staff and workshops for professional development. New collaborations and the development of existing partnerships is of course always on the agenda.

To learn more about our achievements of 2016 and our goals for 2017, please check out our website. This is also receiving an overhaul and we will be regularly updating you about our work in Nicaragua on this platform. We are always looking for help with every element of EEP and in the work of Chureca Chic so, if you are interested, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: andrea@eartheducationproject.org

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A unique new partnership with the Little Yellow Door, London

We are kicking off the year with a new collaboration for Earth Education Project (EEP) and Chureca Chic with the amazing team at The Little Yellow Door Bar & Restaurant in London. On the 8th of February the Little Yellow Door is holding a fundraising evening. The idea? The flatmates of Little Yellow Door are raising funds so that we can open up the second part of the Café Boutique for Chureca Chic here in Nicaragua. The team will be coming out to train our staff in running the unique events that LYD is known for. The aim is to grow our social enterprise model so we can hold new innovative events at our ‘place’, in order to generate funds to support women living at risk in Nicaragua. Please support this fantastic event. You can find out more on our facebook event. Tickets are for sale on the door or if you can’t make it and would like to donate, please do so via the Virgin Money Giving page.

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CHURECA CHIC started as part of the dream to create a development model that has effective long-lasting change. In 2017 the label is getting ready to go regional.

Starting as an artisan programme within EEP in 2010, CHURECA CHIC was launched in 2013 as a fashion label, marketing itself separately. In 2015 the label registered as a social entreprise and in 2016 began to provide full time employment to women graduating the EEP programme. CHURECA CHIC operates separately with the profits supporting our scholarship programme. We are ultimately a charity with a social enterprise trading arm; our vision is to serve as a model for our partners and the wider society where we work to see the benefits of our social and job skill development programme in action. In Nicaragua we have fast become a household name; our story and products have gone to London, New York, Panama and beyond. Next month we are launching our website and online sales from Nicaragua so watch this space. For now, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this news.

It’s because of you that we are here. Whether you have been supporting us for years or whether you are new to it all, what YOU do makes OUR work possible. We will be incorporating the stories and words of our participants and staff alike a little more often this year via our newsletters as we want you to feel more connected to us. We are just a small charity with huge dreams. We hope you appreciate us as much as we appreciate your support.

Here’s to an amazing February!

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