The Uniform Project
In 1999, Jean Brugger started working with San Juan del Sur resident Lilliam Reyes to provide school uniforms and shoes to children in rural communities. The very first delivery was in February 2000 to the children of the communities of Papaturro and Bernardino.
At that time, if a child did not have a uniform, they could not attend school, which made it difficult for the children from families with limited resources to learn and gain skills.
Lilliam had created a local women’s group called Asociación de Mujeres Bahía, which empowered women by teaching them new skills, including sewing. For the Uniform Project, the women would go to a community, measure the children, purchase fabric, and sew the uniforms. The day of delivery was celebrated by the entire community.
In 7 years, the Uniform Project provided uniforms to more than 1000 children in 21 rural communities and 3 of the poorest neighborhoods of San Juan del Sur. In 2006 Nicaraguan law changed and uniforms were no longer a requirement to attend public schools in the country.
The Uniform Project was supported by various donors, including the Sunrise O’Fallon Rotary Club (O’Fallon, Illinois), which continues to support the Fundación to this day.
Scholarship ProgramInspired by the potential of Nicaraguan youth, Fundación A. Jean Brugger launched the first scholarship program in San Juan del Sur in 2003, to support the dreams of local youth to attend secondary school and university.
As we celebrate our 20th anniversary we are proud to say we have helped 73 young people graduate from university, and are currently providing 42 students with university scholarships, of whom 12 are set to graduate this year!
With the leadership and vision of our staff, FAJB has been able to develop a transparent selection process that allows us to choose applicants based on more than just academic performance or economic need. We also look for young people who have been involved in community service.
Our scholars are free to choose their own fields of study, and the following are just a few of the careers chosen: accounting, architecture, medicine, nursing, business administration, systems engineering, civil engineering, economics, international relations, customs administration, law, social work, and psychology.
This diversity of careers means we are helping to provide a strong foundation of professionals so San Juan del Sur can develop in a sustainable way.