Toronto District School Board
Students from John Polanyi help build a school in Nicaragua

Students from John Polanyi help build a school in Nicaragua

Monday, April 29, 2013
Categories: Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Last month, a group of students from John Polanyi Collegiate Institute had the privilege of being part of the International Volunteering Youth (IVY) trip to Nicaragua.  JPCI IVY had the wonderful opportunity to help build a school in partnership with MeToWe, Free The Children, and EF Tours. The week was filled with hard work, making new friends, endless emotion and joy. Some of the memorable moments included:

  • Meeting the teacher, students, and community members from El Trapiche, just outside of San Marcos, for whom the school was built
  • Moving 675 cinder blocks up a hill and closer to the build site;
  • Preparing  foundation of the school;
  • Handing over donated school supplies to the surprised students.

Alex Narvaez, a grade 12 student who grew up in Columbia, describes how he felt when he met the children in the village, “The hardest moment for me was when I saw a little girl of about 7 years who was talking to us in my language, Spanish, and I couldn’t help but stare at her torn, ripped shoes. I felt terrible, but also I felt agradecido, grateful.  This trip was filled with many emotions.”

Sakaana Yasotharan, a grade 10 student, emphasized: “I want to make a difference. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you’ve been through, as long as you have the will, you can do anything. This trip changed me for the better. It opened my eyes to the realities of the world. It made me consider my place in the world.”

This project was 18-months in the making and is the product of hard work and the commitment of  many caring individuals including generous teachers, supportive organizations, and encouraging families. They played a considerable role in ensuring a successful trip.

IVY is thankful to all donors who helped them raise over $40,000 to make this project a reality.

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