A Dutch volunteer’s experience: Time to be child again

Renz and Jans from the Netherlands worked 6 months for Sonflora

We arrived in León in September 2013 to investigate the possibilities to construct a new hotel for a Dutch foundation, Con Corazón. The goal of this hotel is to donate 100% of the profits to educational projects in Nicaragua. The foundation has already built one hotel in Granada which is very successful and contributes to two educational projects in Granada. 126 children are being helped right now to build a brighter future.

1Part of our investigation was to explore educational projects in León and surroundings which might be connected in the future to the activities of the new hotel. And… this is how we met Sonflora! We asked if it was possible to work as a volunteer for three months for only two days a week, so we could experience ourselves how the project works and how the children are educated. We were welcomed with open arms by the board, the employees, the volunteers and most important the children.

All children have their own background and stories. Sonflora offers 2them a great place, where they can be themselves. They are allowed to play, are surrounded by helpful people and are offered a peaceful place to feel save. Next to these amenities, education is one of the most important issues of Sonflora. Where a bunch of other projects in the region care for schoolbuildings, schooluniforms and learning materials, the focus of Sonflora is education. Offering children more and better education is one of the most important means to improve their lives.

On Monday and Thursday we helped the children with their homeworks from the public school, we worked with them on extra ‘tareas’ for mathematics, writing, reading, Spanish and English 3and we played with them, from halli galli, monopoly to soccer. We were surpised of the level of the children, certainly in mathematics. It was really great to see that a lot of children are eager to learn and that the structure which is offered by the team of Sonflora, brings them further in their personal development. Of course there are children who have problems with concentracion, with supervision, with learning, but they all do a very good job in trying to cope with these problems, so they develop themselves every day.
We are very greatful we were able to work for Sonflora. We hope we have contributed a bit to the education and wellbeing of the children. As well they learned us a lot: about live, about making something out of nothing, about looking forward and not backward, about wanting instead of waiting, and of course their great Spanish lessons for us. We will never forget their faces and smiles!

Jans en Rens, The Netherlands

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