In Nicaragua, it is twice as hard for a woman to make it through school as it is a man, and far fewer women secure the resources necessary for paying for school. Many do not even finish high school. So, JustHope created 20 Women of Hope in 2012.
With 20 founding members — 10 women from Messiah Community Church (ELCA) Denver, and 10 women in the Boca de Cantaro sector of Chacraseca, Nicaragua — 20 Women of Hope — was formed to change the inequity in higher education.
The group chose a young woman named Glenin as their pilot student. Glenin has now graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering! Read about her journey.
This is how 20 Women of Hope works:
Ten women in the U.S. commit to providing $1,000 annually for a young Nicaraguan woman to attend university. This provides funds for tuition, supplies, transportation or housing, and tutoring as needed. JustHope staff commits to advising the student and her group of mentors.
Ten Nicaraguan women select a young woman for the group to support and mentor. They choose a woman they know and can, therefore, meet with on a regular basis. They also seek a recipient they trust will work hard and excel in her education. Her local mentors surround that woman with intentional and careful support for as long as the two groups are able to sustain their partnership (it takes 5 years to graduate from university in Nicaragua).
The two groups of women then share their journeys with each other by writing letters and cards, sending video clips and emails, and relaying stories and greetings through JustHope's staff.