May 2018 – Statement on the unrest in Nicaragua
Dear SchoolBOX supporter,
Nicaragua has experienced a state of unrest since April 19th, 2018. Amidst protests and violence, SchoolBOX has continued to support our partner communities while keeping the safety and security of Nicaraguan staff and our international volunteers our highest priority.
At this point, due to the escalation of instability, SchoolBOX has made the difficult decision to suspend programming for at least the next two weeks to protect the safety of our staff in the field. We are ensuring that each member of the SchoolBOX team is aware of the situation, and is not risking their safety to come in to work.
On May 15, 2018, the Government of Canada issued an ‘Avoid Non-Essential Travel’ advisory to Nicaragua. It is necessary for us to suspend volunteer trips to Nicaragua as long as this advisory is in effect. Any individuals or groups affected by this decision will be contacted directly to discuss options.
In most of our rural partner communities, life carries on largely unaffected. However, travel to and from these communities has become very difficult and students in our partner communities have experienced many days of school cancellation due to safety concerns. Many parents are opting to keep their children home from school until the situation is resolved.
The SchoolBOX Board of Directors, as well as Founder Tom Affleck and Executive Director Sarah Kerr have been consulted, and fully support these efforts to protect our staff and volunteers.
Until a peaceful solution to the unrest is reached, we ask you for your prayers and positive thoughts. We are confident that there are brighter days ahead for Nicaragua.
We will continue to provide updates as the situation progresses.
Thank you for your consideration and understanding.
Jon Tam, Acting Executive Director
Amber Hall, Chair, Board of Directors
Ronald Chavarria, Nicaraguan Director