Build commUNITY with Wayne and Abe!
The residents of this small economically challenged town in northern Costa Rica are trying to create a space, a community park, for socializing, recreation and learning. Right now, there is no place they can go for these purposes in the town, except for the two benches in front of the small general store, where one can go to hear the latest news, but this space is monopolized by older men during the day, and young men at night. Children play in their homes or in the dirt roads in front of their homes. Women and girls are most often found in their own homes or the home of another, and have almost no opportunities for outdoor activities or exercise. The soccer field is used by boys and young men, but again, males dominate the space, and there are no spaces for women, girls or families. There are no safe, level walking paths or sidewalks for senior citizens in the town, and no families have playground equipment, not even the local elementary school. For these reasons, the residents of this town have been holding fundraisers and trying to raise the money for their dream of having a real community park that everyone in the town and neighboring countryside can enjoy.
Enter my friend Wayne, a retiree from Oregon, and Abraham, a young motivated resident, and the President of the park committee of this small town. When Wayne heard of the community’s efforts to build a park, he offered to draw up the plans, and never turned back. Now he and Abraham and another volunteer from the US are working closely with the park committee and many other residents to facilitate park construction. The local park committee has raised enough money and community contributions to renovate an abandoned building into a small coffee shop/internet café which it will operate to generate funds to maintain the park once built. This is an amazing accomplishment for the community. Their shared vision has brought the community closer together, and they feel much pride in their accomplishments thus far. The building is on the park grounds owned by the town council, and construction has recently begun. However, they still need funds to hire the big machinery to level the grounds so that the other infrastructure, including play equipment, a covered kiosk for performances and events, a volleyball court, a walking path and emergency access road, benches and picnic tables can be installed. Various residents will teach a volleyball camp, co-ed soccer camp, and other exercise classes, and will be attending various workshops, such as the leadership workshop recently facilitated by one of the volunteers, that build their capacity to plan, design and implement their own community projects in the future.
The President of the Park Committee, Abraham, has written this request with the help of a local volunteer, who translated it into English. The Park Committee is committed to making their community a better place for children, especially girls and young women, senior citizens and whole families. This project will also increase committee members’ capacity for leadership and responsibility to and for their community.
Supporting them is not only helping them, but supporting the growth and stability of this community, and the families therein, because whatever success they achieve will be imprinted upon their children, and quite possibly, generations to come. Please let them know you believe in them, and that their dream of a community park for all residents to enjoy is worth every dollar you can spare, no matter how big or small the quantity. Following are the items that they still need, and humbly request your contributions for:
• Cost of leveling park grounds with large machinery $400.00
• 7 five gallon containers of paint $300.00
• Painting supplies: brushes, rollers, drip pans $50.00
• 1 Refrigerator $600.00
• 1 two burner gas stove $ 40.00
• 2 Gas cylinder (for stove) $ 60.00
• Wood with which to construct a sign for the park $100.00
• 3 Cement tables with benches $360.00
• Basic pots/pans, utensils, coffee maker $ 65.00
• Mop, broom, cleaning supplies $ 15.00
• Hose with nozzle $ 45.00
• Volleyball net $ 68.00
• 3 volleyballs $ 42.00
• Badminton set $ 48.00
• Weed eater $145.00
• Sand for playground area, 2 dump truck loads$720.00
• Gravel for emergency access road, 5 dump truck loads $1,840.00
• Construction materials for covered kiosk $3,970.00
Thank you for your attention, kindness and generosity. The residents of this rural farming community will not forget who helped them when they first needed a jumpstart! We will keep you updated on their progress if you include contact info with your gift!
- Nancy Ninegar
- janae drager
- Linda Burlington
- Mary Leonard
- Beth Hartnett
Organizer and beneficiary
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