Each day, Olga greets each member of the team with a cheery “Good morning” and then you may not hear that soft sweet voice again until day’s end if you don’t join her in the barrio. We call her Olguita, affectionately. She was a sponsored student with EI for 6 years, starting at the age of 14. Since the day she entered the EI Center, she dreamed big. She always took advantage of every program opportunity possible, fueling a life-long passion for photography. She graduated at the top of her class from a competitive technical high school, applied to university, and is now in her final year of Law School.
Midway through her university, Olga had a unique opportunity to serve as a missionary in El Salvador. Upon her return, while waiting for the new university year to commence, she volunteered with EI. The home visit team soon learned how capable she is and hired her as one of the Home Visit Coordinators, along with hours that would be suitable for her to study and work. Her education, coupled with her background as a former EI beneficiary, gives her deep insight into issues families face and a powerful ability to guide them to overcome those barriers. She is a great resource and a great role model for families and students.
As a home visit coordinator, Olga is much beloved by the children and the teens. Although she is only about 4’10”, you can always tell where she is in the barrio by the knot of children around her, bending toward her to hear her quiet voice. Her introverted
personality just strengthens her capacity to find the right words in the right moment, and when she does express her opinion it is always worth listening to. Her rare and fleeting smile lights up the room with her authenticity and transparency. In our monthly meetings, she always comes with ideas of how to improve our health and home visit program, to help us stay on track with our mission of educating children and youth to break the generational cycle of poverty.
Empowerment International has a passionate and committed team. Thanks to the long term support of so many of you, we have been able to integrate former program participants like Olga. These former students truly understand the power of EI programs and education. Having walked on both sides, as a beneficiary and as a contributor to the community, no one could be more appropriate for this role.
By Marcia Miranda, Nicaragua Country Director