board-You make the difference

New Beginnings

The school year in Nicaragua, unlike that in the United States, follows the calendar year.  When we visited students in December, they were completing the second semester of 2019.  As is our practice, we met with each class of students currently funded by Adelante Mujer.  What was significantly different during the December 2019 visit was the meeting with our students in their second year of medical school.  

The difference may be attributed to the fact that this second year class was the largest we have ever had.  Students interacted easily with each other and really taught us about the challenges they faced when they committed themselves to higher education and the medical curriculum.  The following gives you the opportunity to hear their challenges and the blessings they readily shared.

“We never went to school for a whole day before.  In primary and secondary school we attended only half a day.  To be in school all day was pretty hard at first.”

“I live far from here.  Our little community is on the river.  I had to take two small boats to get to a place where I could travel by land to come to URACCAN.  I miss my mom so much and she is so far away.”

“Last year 160 applied to get into medical school and of those accepted, the university would advance only 20 into the second year.  It was so, so difficult to learn so much.  But we did it!”

“Medical school is strict and we are here all the time.  We can’t be in good contact with our family and we miss all the celebrations.”

Challenges, students assured us, were balanced by blessings.

“It’s great to be part of a medical career!  Getting to see patients and have a relationship with them is special.”

“For me it was very emotional and exciting to qualify for second year studies.”

“We get to join the doctors by going house to house to test for malaria and to teach people about it.”

“I am happiest when I visit medical units and get to practice what I am learning.”

“It was scary to suture but the doctor told me I did a good job and the patient thanked me.”

In February this class became third year medical students.  Please keep them in your prayer.

Sister Diane, CSA  ~  April 2020

The “Advance Woman” Woman

The accomplishments and successes of most people are often unrecognized during their lifetime. However, on February 20, 2020 the contrary happened. Sister Ann McKean, CSA, the foundress of Adelante Mujer, was featured by the Illuminating Women Project at the beautiful Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Sister Ann with 29 other women received a glowing spotlight for the way they “shine light” on others. Beside the portrait of each, a short biography describes the creative, generous, and empowering service she gives to help other people. In the month-long exhibit that heralds them, the story of Sister Ann and the other women will inspire hundreds of visitors introduced to them at the Thelma Sadoff Center.

Sister Ann has accomplished many unbelievable feats. She earned a doctoral degree from the prestigious Vanderbilt University. Teaching at all levels from elementary school to university doctoral programs, she was professor for more than 25 years at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee. During her sixties, Sister Ann ventured into becoming a licensed pilot and was literally “the flying nun!”  

Despite her many achievements, Sister Ann considers the founding of Adelante Mujer to be the most significant work of her rather exciting life. It was for this initiative that she was featured as one of Fond du Lac’s inspiring women.  

We believe that each and every Adelante Mujer student and doctor in far-away Nicaragua considers Sister Ann with equal admiration and gratitude because each is or was a beneficiary of the organization that claimed Sister Ann’s devoted work and attention for the past ten years. To each of them and to all young women her message is Adelante Mujer which means “Advance Woman!” She did and they do!  

 

 

In Case You’re Wondering

When people donate they usually want to know two things: Is my money going to the cause I want to support and do recipients appreciate what I give?

The reply to the first concern is a definite “Yes, every penny of every donation is used to help young women in Nicaragua who are studying to be medical doctors. Every penny.” Continue reading “In Case You’re Wondering”

Why Support Adelante Mujer?

Why choose to support Adelante Mujer when there are so many places in the world where people are displaced from their homes by war; where hunger is common; where basic needs like clean water, health care, and shelter are unavailable? We all have limited resources and want to help others less fortunate. How do we choose when we cannot help everyone?

Continue reading “Why Support Adelante Mujer?”

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Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas – Krismis Yamni

Esther
As I sit here in the Managua Airport awaiting my flight from the balmy tropics of Nicaragua to the freezing blasts of another Wisconsin winter, I have time to reflect on our recent interviews with our current students from medical school in Puerto Cabezas as well as the candidates, young women who, despite living in one of the most impoverished regions in the world, refuse to give up on their dream of bringing medical help to those who, like themselves, have had to survive with little or nothing.

Continue reading “Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas – Krismis Yamni”

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Ten New Students Accepted

Sister Diane made the semi-annual trip to Puerto Cabezas/Bilwi in early May 2017. The schedule is always full on these visits, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and often not ending until 8:00 p.m. While there she meets with our contacts at the university and visits the hospital where she often runs into our graduates. She meets with our local administrator and handles our banking needs. The most important meetings though are those with our current students and the interviews with new applicants.

Continue reading “Ten New Students Accepted”

Sister Ann McKean, CSA, PhD ~ Foundress

Sister Ann McKean, CSA, PhD ~ Foundress of Adelante Mujer

We are dedicating this blog to our foundress, Sister Ann McKean. We celebrate her 60th year as a Sister of Saint Agnes on August 15, 2017. Sister Ann’s background includes teaching in colleges, universities, and even a Catholic seminary. She has held the title “senior professor of theology.” Her subjects have included Sacred Scripture, women’s studies, world religions, and anthropology.

Continue reading “Sister Ann McKean, CSA, PhD ~ Foundress of Adelante Mujer”