We celebrated the mid-way point of the class of 2017 with our open house event last Friday!

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We celebrated the mid-way point of the class of 2017 with our open house event last Friday!
And, as ever, we’ve plenty to share with you, our EEP family …
  • What are the scholarship students learning thanks to your support? In July the 40 students started the second phase of our job skill training course which includes mock interviews and internships.
  • You can now raise funds for EEP through your online shopping, without paying a penny extra yourselves through the innovative Give As You Live scheme.
  • Full House at the EEP Training Centre: we’ve been delighted to welcome a new group of volunteers who are supporting the development of our teaching methodology and working on the expansion of CHURECA CHIC, our trading arm.
  • CHURECA CHIC continues to shine: the fastest growing ethical fashion brand in Nicaragua went to new tropical, and stateside, shores… read on for the details.
What have the scholarships students you support learnt so far?
In the first 6 months of the year, our employability programme has a heavy psychological development and emotional support element to it. We concentrate on developing self-confidence, managing emotions and communication skills in the workshops with our Psychologist, Belinda Barquero (see below); building the soft skills necessary for the workplace alongside the skills needed to face everyday situations such as sexism and domestic violence.Sexism and domestic violence are rife issues which unfortunately EEP participants are more than familiar with; 75% of participants have experienced physical, mental, sexual or financial abuse. Management of emotions, feelings, tensions and stress all aid in helping to find methods to work through their family situations to ensure that support from the family for when they eventually go into the work place.In the second half of the year, we work on the harder skills of interview techniques and understanding how the world of work works from social security payments to managing personal finances. 95% of our graduates continue working in full-time jobs today; the unique methodology of balancing hard and soft skill, specifically based on the community needs, is the link to EEP students holding down their future job.
EEP opens its doors in Managua
Last Friday we opened our doors to the public and, together with current partners shared the work of EEP with potential partners and donors for our NGO here in Nicaragua. The class of 2017 met future employers and presented examples of what they have learnt so far. In a presentation given by Andrea Paltzer, EEP Founder, and Ana Gonzalez, EEP Programme Coordinator, guests also heard from current and past EEP participants on their struggles finding jobs, and how the EEP job skill training programme gave them a second opportunity.A crucial factor in the 95% success rate of staying in a job upon graduation is our partnership programme with the private sector; this guarantees places of employment upon completing the EEP course. At our open house, one of our private sector partners, SERVIPLUS, presented how the alliance we have with them works to ensure that the EEP students match their staff needs. Head over to our social media to see photos, videos and more.
Raise funds for EEP whilst shopping online
We found a fab and free way for you to raise funds for EEP just by online shopping with Give As You Live.How does it work? Simply create an account you then choose the shops that you normally buy from online and then you pick your favourite charity that you want then to donate to every time to you shop – and it even has options for a last-minute getaway. It is funded by the advertisers on their site and the shops that you buy from. We think it’s the best thing since they started to fry plantain for chips in Nicaragua so please sign up and support us when you shop.
So many projects, such little time…
We’ve so far had a fantastic year of volunteers working out here in Nicaragua. Earlier this year we teamed up with universities in Spain and the USA to create tailored volunteer projects for both EEP and CHURECA CHIC. As a result, Aricquel joined us from California’s Middlebury Institute and supported our private sector partnerships outreach, Rocio, Teresa and Marta from the Universidad de Complutense in Madrid ran sessions on women’s health and worked with the team to develop or teaching methodology manual, and ESADE Business School students Monica and Marta from Barcelona are organising the international distribution of CHURECA CHIC products with. ‘Meet’ these fabulous volunteers on ourwebsite.
CHURECA CHIC just keeps on growing
At the end of June the latest CHURECA CHIC collection, PALMIRA, was launched. Spanish for Palm Tree, this collection is the first time CHURECA CHIC worked extensively with fabric, creating a capsule resort collection with casual women’s tops for the city and dazzling dresses for the beach alongside new jewellery and bag designs. In 4 months, thanks to a donation of sewing machines, the talented artisans learnt to sew – there are no limits in the CHURECA CHIC house when inspired by art and a passion for our community. PALMIRA designs are flying off the shelves in our Boutique in Managua and will soon be available on our website. Along with a new collection, we have a new space in Café Boutique; a ‘Secret Garden’, where we have started hosting chic events, and a meeting room for hire, all in aid of raising funds for EEP.
“Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.”
— Robert Wieder; adopted by CHURECA CHIC.
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 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 Summer!