How We Work

Friends Of Kairos Nicaragua was founded to sponsor a NEW way of helping those in need. We are focused on developing countries, most especially Nicaragua, where our members have been working for over 30 years. We work to enable others to help themselves. Our focus is on small communities. We help a community organize to accomplish the goals which they themselves identify. Our role is to train, assist, coordinate, communicate, so that they can identify their own strengths and resources.

 

We are not about giving or charity. We are focused on the path of justice - how to enable all of our brothers and sisters to achieve their full potential, so that they can contribute to the wealth and richness of all of us. Our goal is the elimination of poverty, working with one small community at a time.

 

Help from outside is too often given as a hand out, or even a hand up, without changing the roots of the problem. When the external help stops, the good work often stops as well. Our goal is a self sufficient community that can continue its growth and development long after we have moved on. And they will say, "We did it ourselves". (Lao Tzu)

 


Who We Are

Our team members in Nicaragua are employed through a Nicaragua Foundation, Escuela AKF. The team members visit regularly with the members and leaders in every community we assist. We help them organize, create legal entities, advocate for their rights and assistance from local governments - whatever they need to prosper and succeed. Our communities have created businesses, such as pottery and jewelry, they have created small loan funds, energized water projects, and many other endeavors.

 

The small communities in Nicaragua are also team members, even our family members. Some have been working with us for many years, and continue to grow and prosper. Others are brand new ventures, with exciting tasks ahead of them.

 

See this Facebook Page and Website for photos and more information:
   Fundación Kairós para la Formación

    Escuela AKF

 


Nicaragua:

The Kairos Center

This center on the outskirts of Managua serves as a resource for all of the initiatives of Kairos. It is a place for retreat and education, where visitors can be immersed in nature in the beautiful setting. The center offers hospitality services, including meals and lodging. It is open to all who are committed to the goal of peace in our world.

 

In a typical year, the Center will serve over 30 delegations from the North, from 20 different organizations.

 

See this document for more photos and details.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/95709673/Kairos-Center

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Full Participants:

  • Christian Base Community; San Pablo del Apostel, barrio 14ce de Septiembre.
  • Sectorial Organization Hermanamiento Angeles de la Guarda, Sta. Rita, Teustepe.
  • Sectorial Organization Mujeres Ceramistas del Ojoche (Women Potters of Ojoche), Ojoche Somotillo.
  • Geographical community of El Corozo, Niquinomo
  • APIEAT: Association of Wholistic Promotores Educating with Tenderness and Love, Jalapa.
  • Children's Program of Los Ampies
  • Eagle's Wings: Women's sewing cooperatives from Nandasmo and Managua.

Partners throughout the year for specific programs:

  • Casa Materna Matagalpa
  • Centro Cultural Batahola Norte
  • Hermanamiento Esquipulas Matagalpa

United States: 

Full Participants

  • Guardian Angels Catholic Church, Oakdale MN.
  • Rotary District 5960, Metropolitan Twin Cities and Wisc.
  • Federated UCC, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Spirit Winds, Methodist group from New England Conference working with Fair Trade.

Yearly partnership or when requested:

  • Williams College, JTerm, through the Campus Ministry program
  • Saint Louis University Department of Theological Studies

 


US Volunteer Team:

 

Our team in the US is made up entirely of volunteers. We are members of various churches and communities in many parts of the country. We have all established long standing relationships with small communities in Nicaragua. We work WITH them to achieve their plans and dreams. We exchange visits and messages, and communicate via email and Skype with our extended family in another culture. Some of our members both North and South are organized around a church community, but many are just a community that is committed to helping themselves and each other to prosper.


 

Board Members

 

Our Board Members represent some of our US Participant Groups.

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Carl Scheider
Member of the Sister Parish team in MN.

Carl is a retired IT executive, formerly a CTO for a software firm. 

Carl holds a BA, BD, STL, STD (ABD), and JD.

  • Former member of the Planning Commission and City Council of Woodbury, MN.
  • Associate faculty member, Cardinal Stritch University.
  • Former Guardian ad Litem, Ramsey County.
  • Former Head of corporate Habitat for Humanity volunteer effort for The St. Paul Companies.
  • Former Board member, Woodbury Community Land Trust.
  • Former member and chair of St. Paul Overnight Shelter Board.
  • Trained facilitator for the Seminar, "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People".
  • Moderately fluent in Italian, French and Spanish - in that order.

_________________________________________________________________________

Adam Dirnberger

Adam is a recent graduate of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies and Philosophy with minors in Urban Poverty Studies and Catholic Studies. During his time at SLU, Adam had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua through the Mev Puleo Scholarship Program in Latin American Theology and Culture. This led to a 10-week immersion experience with Escuela Kairos and their partnering communities of Cuidad Sandino, Teustepe, and León.  Adam is experienced in leading immersion groups, traveling to Navajo Nation, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and within the Los Angeles Juvenile Prison System.  He spent a year with the Amate House Program in Chicago, IL living in intentional community and serving as the campus minister and teacher at Our Lady of Tepeyac High School.  Adam is currently living in Boston, MA pursuing a Master of Divinity at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

________________________________________________________________________

Julie Sloan

Julie holds a BA in English, and an M.Ed from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She serves as the Director of a team of coaches who assist early career teachers with a form of internship in Boston. Julie volunteered for an extended period in Nicaragua, living with several families, and assisting Kairos with their work in Nicaragua.


Richard Jones

Richard is a resident of Wells, Maine. He holds a BS in Management. He has had extensive experience in multi-site facilities management in public education, municipal government and telecommunications. This includes construction management services, maintenance management, operations, human relations and budgeting. Richard lived at Centro Kairos for a period of 89 days while assisting in the management of the recent construction work that expanded the Centro Kairos.  Richard has been actively involved for more than 12 years with a sister church/Christian school in Sierra Maestra, a barrio near Centro Kairos.  This involvement has brought him to Nicaragua on an annual basis. 

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Pamela Jeffers

Pam is an active member of First Congregational United church of Christ in Asheville, NC.  This church is well known for its commitment to social justice and equality for all.

 

Pam has over 30 years experience in the healthcare field, serving in positions from patient advocacy to management of a national team; additionally she was involved in the field of education for 7 years, teaching in middle school in Georgia and in Pahlavi University in Shiraz, Iran, as well as teaching English for the Iranian Army.  She is retired from the National Marrow Donor Program, headquartered in Minneapolis.

 

She holds a BA in Life Sciences and has completed course work for a Masters in Health, Development, and Learning.

 

Other Interests:

  • Former Board member for SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) in Iredell County, NC.
  • Former Board member for the Mooresville Soup Kitchen, Mooresville, NC.
  • Former Stewardship Chairperson for First Congregational UCC, Asheville, NC.
  • Volunteer for medical mission trips to Ecuador and the Ukraine.
  • Former Inn-Keeper for Room in the Inn, Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina.
  • Former Team Leader for Hope to Home team, Homeward Bound of Western NC.
  • Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity.
  • Served as Administrative Chair for Capital Campaign, First Congregational UCC, Asheville, NC.

Michael Robertson
Mike is an active member of the Sister Parish Community, a social justice group affiliated with the Guardian Angels Church in Oakdale MN. This group has worked with a small community in Nicaragua for 30 years. 


Rachelle Turner
Member of the Sister Parish team in MN.

 


 

You Can Help

 

Even a little help goes a long way. That is why we are especially happy to find new volunteers who share our commitment to doing good in the world from the ground up. If you interested in changing the world, from the inside out, then contact us. A helping hand is always greatly appreciated!

Want to Become a Member?

Email us at:
 info@friends-of-kairos-nicaragua.org 
Or fill out our contact form.

Friends Of Kairos Nicaragua

10953 Thone Rd

Woodbury, MN 55129

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