With the hope that he could do something good on behalf of the Mills students, David Wilson, Bon Appetit general manager, made his personal trip to Nicaragua a philanthropic experience. Before leaving during winter break, Wilson asked the Bon Appetit district manager, David Whalen, if he could dip into Bon Appetit’s Mills budget to help out a Nicaraguan school.
With $200, Wilson went to Staples and filled a suitcase bigger than a typical carry-on with school supplies including pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons, markers, scissors, stickers, and chalk. Wilson said that although $200 might not seem like much money, the small donation went a long way and had a big impact.
Wilson visited the Camillo Zapata school on an El Contadero, Nicaragua ranch and donated the school supplies to the 48 students ranging in grade levels from kindergarten through sixth grade. The students are all taught in a one room, dirt floor shack with no running water or electricity.
“When you think third world, it is very third world,” Wilson said. “It was very humbling to see something like that.”
Camillo Zapata has been running for 30 years and over that period, the K-6 students have never been taught by more than one teacher.
The teachers hired for this school are employed by the Nicaragua Ministry of Education and their average salary is $1,400 a year. While the school does receive some assistance from the government and from the owner of the ranch where the school lies, most of the materials are home-made.
The Camillo Zapata school, like many others in developing countries, is not only ill-equipped, it is falling apart.
“Their biggest problem is their infrastructure,” said Wilson. “But there are also a lot less opportunities for women out there.”
Out of the 15 school kids he met, less than five were girls, and Wilson said this reality reminds him of how lucky he is to be working at a women’s college where women from different walks of life are encouraged to reach their fullest potential.
To find out more information about donating to Nicaraguan schools, visit www.fabretto.com. Fabretto Children’s Foundation serves over 5,000 boys and girls between the ages 5 and 22 with education and health needs.