Rockville United Methodist Church began supporting missionaries of the United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministries in San Francisco Libre, Nicaragua in 1998. Formally the program is titled Women and Community, Advance #13285A.
Support began with Missionary Nan McCurdy  and most recently we added Missionary Alina Saucedo .
Learn more about Women & Community here
NEED: Prior to missionary intervention there was no group supporting women and youth in San Francisco Libre so that they might feel God's love, show Christ's example and provide hope to others in order to transform lives. There was wide spread violence against women and children, serious health issues and a lack of access to health resources, wide spread teenage pregnancy, and a lack of educational and economic opportunities.
PROGRAM GOALS: To promote an abundant life for the people; to encourage them to follow Christ’s example; and share Christ’s love and hope with others.
RESPONSE: The Women and Community of San Francisco have developed five programs with the assistance and guidance of Missionaries McCurdy and Saucedo. The programs are:
Women Human Rights Program
Elements of this program include human rights education, legal assistance and protection against abuse, promotion of gender equality, reproductive and sexual rights education, counselling, leadership training and organization of support groups.
2. Integrated Women’s Health Program
Elements of this program include prevention education and screening focused on high levels of cervical cancer and sexually transmitted illnesses, facilitating access to medical resources, teen pregnancy education and workshops.
3. Development of Youth Leadership Program
Elements of this program focus on promotion of gender equality, prevention of pregnancy and special initiatives like a teen run radio broadcast station and workshops.
4. Youth Scholarship Program
Educational opportunities at even the high school level are financially limiting. Scholarships are granted high school students, technical vocational training, and college degrees. In 2017 the program supported 76 students to pursue their education. The program also conducts education workshops with young scholars and their parents. In 2017 the program celebrated 14-young people finishing their high school studies, one youth finishing at a professional technical level and one at the university level.
5. Revolving Loan Fund Program
No interest loans are provided to women who have been abandoned and want to start a business to support themselves. Examples are loans to purchase a dairy cow, poultry or a sewing machine. The cow, hens or a sewing machine becomes the property of the borrower and repayment of the loan replenishes the loan fund.
For more information, contact Tim Hiltz, Chair, Missions Committee, 240-687-0436