The Friends Executive Board has responsibility for the overall administration of the Families United program. The primary role of the Exec Board is to assess the needs of the member families, give direction to the specific programs, raise the necessary funds from our circle of Friends, send wire transfers to the Committee of Care in Esteli for specific efforts, and carefully monitor the use of those funds.
The Chairman of the Executive Committee is in regular email contact with the Committee of Care, who administer the program in Esteli. The ongoing dialog ranges over all aspects of the Families United effort, with information and recommendations flowing in both directions. The result is careful, informed planning for the targeted use of the available funds.
Every January since the program started in July of 2007, teams of 6-8 Friends have gone down to Esteli for week-long visits with the Families. Our intention is to continue these visits on an annual basis in order to deepen the relationship between the Friends and the Families, and to develop the program more effectively in the future.
Committee of Care:
Elida Hernandez is Program Director and Lester Molina is Housing Director. They are both in their mid-twenties, university-trained (as engineers), computer savvy. Lester speaks (and writes English), which he constantly uses as he works with other teams that come down from the US to do projects in Nicaragua. Elida works full time for a Canadian assistance program for poor families. Together they work closely with the Families United members. We rely on their judgment and their commitment to these families to implement as well as monitor all the programs.
The responsibility of the Committee of Care is to translate the Exec Board's plans into reality. During the seven years of our existence, these coordinators have come to know the families very intimately and have built a strong relationship of trust that allows them to communicate well with them.
Elida Hernandez, as the Program Director, is responsible for overseeing all the programs: to distribute the uniforms and school supplies, the HOPE Scholarship awards, the veggies and the eggs, and manage the Savings and Loan FUND.
Lester Molina is our point-man on all housing projects, for both the planning and the actual construction. He works very closely with our contractor, Carlos Castillo, who has designed and built all the roof structures for us since we started our housing Program in 2010. Lester and his team of volunteers usually do the concrete floors and steel-panel walls. Working together, they have built a total of fourteen Red Houses for our members in the past four years.