Why Opportunity Tree?
Opportunity Tree was created after four years of effort by our founders. They researched Nicaragua and its needs, travelled to Nicaragua on three separate occasions, talked with many Nicaraguans, and met with nearly twenty other nonprofits working in Nicaragua. Both founders are fluent in Spanish, which enables them to communicate directly with the Nicaraguan people as well as local NGO leadership. They are in a strong position to evaluate programs and pursue those they expect will have the most impact to help Nicaraguan children and youth succeed in pursuing their educations.
Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, with widespread underemployment and poverty. Approximately 65% of the rural population live in poverty, and over 35% subsist on less than $2 a day. Nearly half of Nicaraguan children drop out of school before reaching the sixth grade. The challenge of staying in school is amplified for the poorest children. This is largely due to the impact of economic hardship, as many families don’t have resources for uniforms, books, or transportation for their children, and many families need their children to work. Despite these challenges, we have found the many Nicaraguans we have met to be hopeful and compassionate. They are determined to work hard to meet their challenges, and are appreciative of constructive assistance to support their efforts.
How much of my donation goes to actual programs?
For 2017, all donations to Opportunity Tree will go directly to Nicaragua programs. This is possible because we have already received a donation to cover administrative expenses. Therefore, we have the unique opportunity to spend all additional funds that we receive to directly support education programs in Nicaragua. Going forward, we’ve also taken steps to keep administrative costs extremely low. Opportunity Tree’s U.S. staff are all volunteers. Our systems have been designed for easy use with minimal cost. We want our money to go to its best use: directly helping children and youth in Nicaragua pursue their dreams through education.