LAS JAGUAS, CIUDAD SANDINO | When Alma’s small store was robbed, she was hopeless and defeated. Her income was needed to supplement her husband’s and care for their two children, and insurance is non-existent in rural Nicaragua. She took out two loans with the Rainbow Network to save her business, without which she said she would not have been able to start over. Alma faced difficulty once again when she was stricken with a painful kidney infection, but Rainbow doctors provided the examinations and medications she needed to get well. She said before Rainbow Network came to Las Jaguas, few could afford the transportation to Managua for healthcare and fewer could send their children to school or achieve economic security. She says she is grateful for the businesses started through the micro-loan program and the scholarships that allow more of the young people in Las Jaguas to continue their studies.
LAJAS-LATAS, CIUDAD SANDINO | Britani lives with her mother, Janethe, and gets help from her uncles since her father left. Their small family’s situation became more difficult when Britani suffered a serious fall from her bed and was diagnosed with a damaged, displaced hip. Her mother could not afford the surgery on her own, but through Rainbow’s Special Medical Needs program, she received a series of 3 surgeries to repair her right hip and remove damaged osseous tissues. Now, Britani is in swimming therapy to rebuild her strength. The doctors say she responded well to her surgery and probably would have had great difficulty walking if she hadn’t had it. Janethe says she is grateful for Rainbow Network’s quick response and continued support in the recovery of her daughter.
REVENTON, CIUDAD SANDINO | Fidelina lives with her granddaughter in a small hut in Reventon. Fidelina is unable to work because of her age and fatigue, but helps her granddaughter with her small sewing business. Fidelina has medical care because of the Rainbow Network doctor who visits Reventon every eight days and she eats at the Rainbow Network feeding center. She says she is most thankful for the special medical needs program, which provided her with vesicle surgery to end her chronic abdominal pain. Now she is healthy and can enjoy a normal life with her granddaughter.
VALLE DE JESÚS, NAGAROTE | When Neyling’s parents noticed their beloved first child had a high fever, they saw a doctor as soon as possible, but their efforts couldn’t erase the damage caused by her case of meningitis. With time, they noticed their baby would not respond to voices, and as she grew, did not play with the other children. Neyling was diagnosed with deafness as a result of meningitis, which devastated her family. At age 12, Neyling was taken to the doctor for a lump in her neck, and Rainbow doctors diagnosed her thyroid goiter, which was retarding her development. With treatment, Neyling survived and is of normal size for her age. The doctors say that without treatment, both her physical and mental growth would have been severely retarded. At 19, she is fluent in sign language and helps around her home and in the local cottage school. She hopes to one day go to a special school for the deaf in Managua so she can continue her studies in sign language and better her communication in society.
CUAJACHILLO 2, CIUDAD SANDINO | When Sara was only 2, she fell victim to pneumonia. The severity of her illness left lasting physical damage; she was hardly able to walk. Her mother’s desperation paired with faith led her to bring Sara to the Rainbow doctors, who found a surgeon willing to provide the operations she needed. With the help of a Special Medical Needs sponsorship and three long months of recovery, Sara is now able to walk.
COLONIA SILVIO MAYORGA, NAGAROTE | Leda Carolina was born with Cerebral Palsy, which makes walking impossible. Her mother works in the nearest city as a domestic, but doesn’t make enough money to afford the expenses of Leda’s illness. When Leda’s grandfather died in 2012, she and her 2 little brothers lost not only a loved one, but their family’s largest source of income. To add to her life’s difficulties, Leda had outgrown her old wheelchair to the point it made her body ache. One can understand why she was overwhelmed with joy at the sight of her new wheelchair being unloaded from a Rainbow Network container in June, 2012.
LOS FIERROS, EL CRUCERO | Rosita, mother of 9 and grandmother of more than 30, has been a volunteer leader in her community since Rainbow came to El Crucero in 2002. Rosita may be 74 years old, but she is still filled with a world of energy and the desire to serve her community and neighbors. Her favorite area to serve is with the health programs, preparing statistical reports, organizing student volunteers, and going door-to-door to inform community members of doctor visits and public health initiatives. Through leadership in Rainbow programs, Rosita’s strength, dedication, and vigor are able to shine. She has become a well-known (and much-loved) person among her community and to all the Nicaraguan Rainbow staff.
HILAPO DOS, SAN RAMÓN | Harvin Sotela Cruz been dealt a rough hand in the game of life.
He was born in a small village in the San Ramon region, to a single mother who worked very long hours to provide for her two children. But long hours were a necessity, as the community of Hilapo Dos is scattered, with nearly an hours walk to any resources – including fresh water.
Harvin was also born with Distal Arthrogyposis Syndrome, a muscular-skeletal condition that causes his joints to continually contract. By the age of four, the disease had left him unable to walk or use his hands. When the Rainbow Network entered the community of Hilapo Dos, Harvin’s mother was convinced that they had been sent directly by God.
After assessing Harvin’s situation, Rainbow doctors connected him with the necessary treatments, including more than 20 surgeries, specialty physicians and therapy. The disease will present a life-long challenge for Harvin, who will have to endure more surgeries as his body continues to contract.
Although his mother called the simple act of walking unassisted “a triumph in life,” Harvin has taken life with his disease in stride. He is able to run, and enjoys soccer and baseball. Now 16, he is in his 2nd year of high school, getting an education his mother never dreamt possible. He hopes to study English one day and perhaps visit other countries.
The family’s overall life has seen great improvements, as well. Thanks to a Village sponsorship by National Avenue Christian Church in Springfield, MO, the Cruz’s have a new, secure cinderblock home with electricity and ready access to fresh water. Close proximity to a bus stop means that Harvin is more able to attend both school and therapy visits.
Dori Luz Davila – Tiny but Mighty, UPDATED 2016
At birth, Dori weighed a mere 2.5 pounds. Fitting in the palm of a hand, she had to be fed with a syringe. Dori’s single mother worked the coffee fields, so her grandparents had decided to take care of her, but due to her multiple conditions there was nothing they could do.
When Rainbow Network first came to their community of Los Pinos, staff discovered Dori, who was three months old and still only weighed five pounds. She had serious skin problems and could not eat or drink, suffering from malnutrition and dehydration so severe that she “cried without tears.” Without medical resources in their community and no money to transport her elsewhere, her family was helplessly watching her tiny life slip away.
Recognizing the severity of her condition, Rainbow Network doctors began addressing Dori’s immediate nutrition issues before moving her to a hospital for specialized care. Back in Los Pinos, staff set in motion the mechanisms that would become educational, housing, feeding, medical and economic programs.
Today, Dori is a smart, happy teenager with an impish smile and a strong creative streak. She attends high school on a scholarship and works afternoons at her family’s pulperia (small grocery store), funded by a Rainbow Network microloan. She has full mobility, and enjoys playing baseball with groups that come through Los Pinos.
Her family is very grateful for the gift of this special child, who they say “through the help of God and Rainbow Network” will live a normal life, with no apparent consequences of the trauma in her first treacherous months of life.