UT Student Accessibility Project in Nicaragua
Who We Are:
We are a team of six engineering and social work undergraduate students who are passionate about using the skills we are gaining in college to make a difference in people’s lives around the world.
What We Are Doing:
We are partnering with a non-profit in Nicaragua called Manna Project International to design and build a system of handicap ramps, sidewalks and drainage for its "El Farito" community center and clinic. This system will increase accessibility and improve the health, safety, and overall infrastructure of the El Farito community center and clinic.
We are conducting this project as part of a program called Projects for Under-served Communities (PUC), which works in developing countries to provide technical solutions to meet the needs of communities and improve their overall quality of life and well-being. After participating in PUC’s year-long program consisting of one project management course and one design course, we will travel to Nicaragua to implement the accessibility project as the final component of the program.
How We Are Making an Impact:
El Farito serves residents of Cedro Galan and Chiquilistagua, two low-income communities located in the outskirts of the capitol of Nicaragua, Managua. Like many communities in Nicaragua, they lack adequate access to health care, education, and other social services. El Farito provides basic health care services and offers a host of classes, including nutrition, health, literacy, English, and business classes, thus fulfilling a major absence in services in the area.
Manna Project International, which operates El Farito, strives to continually grow and develop to meet the needs of the communities it serves. Last year, PUC students worked with Manna to design and build a bathroom and septic tank to serve the newly opened clinic. But the center still needs improvements. Poor drainage creates pools of standing water around and inside the clinic after rain, and the rough terrain and steps leading into the clinic make it difficult for the elderly or people with mobility impairments to enter the clinic. Currently, people with mobility impairments have to be picked up and carried into and out of the clinic and center. The pools of standing water attract mosquitoes in a region where cases of Dengue fever and malaria are not uncommon. Our project will eliminate the need for these persons to be carried in and out of the clinic and will also address the standing water problems of El Farito.
Help us make a difference:
You can help us make an impact in these communities, while impacting our education. We are each paying for our own travel, but we need $4,000 to pay for the costs of materials for the ramps and drainage system. This means every dollar you donate will go directly to the communities, and will support our education as professionals and growth as leaders as we design, plan for, and build this project. Plus, all donations are tax deductible, as donations through this site go directly through The University of Texas at Austin.
Every dollar helps us towards our goal. Please make a donation and help our team make an impact in this little corner of the world, and spread the word about our project by using the icons at the top of the page to share with your friends, family and colleagues.
Help us live up to UT’s motto: what starts here changes the world!
Can we count on you?