When she smiles, the whole world smiles. She has this bright laugh that will melt your heart. Her name is Charlie. She is one of the 26 disabled kids (click for video) in San Juan de la Concepcion, who come (in the afternoon) to Los Pipitos Nicaragua; the centre for physically and learning disabled children.
There she receives physical and occupational therapy. In Nicaragua there is very little support available for these children and their families. Unlike in many Western cultures, parenst do not look for institutional care for their disabled children, they are nearly always cared for at home. There is very little special education. Support for the families is limited by the lack of resources.
There are NGOs who can help kids like Charlie and her parents. However the capability of these organisations depend on local funding and in a poor country like Nicaragua it is severely limited. In San Juan de la Conception Los Pipitos opened its doors a few years ago. From the beginning it struggled with a lack of finances. La Mariposa helped out by fitting out the therapy centre and by supplying therapy materials, games and colour materials. Many of the students who come to La Mariposa to learn Spanish help by bringing generous donations and volunteering alongside the staff.
Every Wednesday La Mariposa organises horse therapy, where the kids get to ride on a horse or are driven around the block in a cart. The slow, rocking motion of the horses relaxes the kids and being close to the horses makes the kids very happy. For the horse therapy Charlie and the other kids are picked up and brought back to their house by the drivers of La Mariposa. For the therapy sessions on Friday and for the kids who need to go to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, for medical therapy La Mariposa also provides transport.
To be able to keep on doing this La Mariposa and Los Pipitos depend on funding from organisations and individuals. If you would like to help Los Pipitos you can donate some money to La Mariposa. You can find the information on how to donate on their website.
Charlie, her family, all the other kids and the Los Pipitos staff will all be very grateful for whatever you can help them with.