Charlotte and Dan Flavin, founders of the Pukalani-based nonprofit, and other Maui volunteers will hold their second annual two-week day camp in July for children and young adults with special needs during the group's 14th consecutive summer in Nicaragua this year. The camp is in addition to their ongoing delivery of physical therapy services by Maui volunteer Jim Kahler and transportation scholarships. These include bus transportation for college students and cancer patients from their rural villages to the city of Chinandega, and bikes for kids who have one- and two-hour walks to the regional high school. The group has already provided 65 bikes, which cost about $95 in Nicaragua, and they will need to provide about 25 more this coming summer. The successful bike program includes a commitment by students and their families to school attendance, which is leading to improved graduation rates.
Somos Ohana Nicaragua is seeking volunteers and donations to continue their projects. The ability to communicate in Spanish is very valuable, but those volunteers committed to going who need to learn basic Spanish will be given lessons prior to the trip. All donations are used for the programs in Nicaragua, therefore, volunteers pay for their airfare and a modest daily room-and-board fee in country.
Interested persons are encouraged to call President Charlotte Flavin at 572-9898.
“Graduates” pose with volunteer staffers for a photo at the end of last summer’s day camp for special needs youth. From Maui are Physical Therapist Jim Kahler (back, second from left), camp Teacher Diane Lanham (center, second row) and camp Nurse Bobbie Lee (back, right end).