Meet Maria. Maria was helped through the International Redeemed Christian university and affiliates to find safe housing and the funds to start a home business that provides a job for her and others in her family.
Yes there is poverty in Costa Rica but it pales to the decline of many other central and south American countries. Because of that cc is partnering with IRCU to start 3 careprojects to improve communities where classes are offered as well as serving as a platform for initiating careprojects in other struggling central and south american countries. Grassroots projects that improve local economies offer hope in Christ feed and outreach hungry childrem and youth we believe can be life and world changing.
Why Costa Rica?
1 – General safety of the country
2 – A local Headquarters for the International Redeemed Christian University
General Safety of the country of Costa Rica – it seems at the moment that there is a low impact of government corruption and interference in the daily lives and economies of citizens of CR that seems to increase personal freedom and freedom of movement within the country. Though the cost of living is extremely high, wages seem within reasonable limits for the majority of the citizenry to thrive. This dynamic enables the message of willingness to contribute to the health of their own communities beyond taxes to seem reasonable. The gang and cartel footprint in CR also seems to be minimal.
The proximity of the country to other countries where CC is ministering is a benefit as it borders Nicaragua (bordering Honduras) and Panama at the other end. They have expressed the willingness to be a staging area for helping maximize CareProjects in these other countries, seizing on the moment of relative peace, safety and personal and mobility freedoms.
The International Redeemed Christian University sponsors local technical training, GED assistance as well as classes for Masters level diplomas and theological training. Because the university does much work on line and does not depend on mammoth buildings, but instead utilizes local classroom space in communities where there is much poverty and where continuing education may be challenging the university looks for donated or low cost classroom space. The desire to make education affordable and accessible is matched by the desire to improve the communities where classes are located. This is done through a variety of community development projects and low cost technical trainings in culinary arts and food service, technology studies, certified nursing assistance, cosmetology, mechanics etc.
Because of the parallel interests of CC and IRCU there are times and places of intersection where the relationship is symbiotic and the two organizations work in tandem. One such opportunity comes where a church willing to sponsor classroom space, recruit students for studies in IRCU and host ministry to youth and families in a community. The church is considered an “anchor” church for a community development/ministry project of IRCU and IRCU invites CC to partner in helping the anchor church to plan and implement the project. The following is a prime example of this type of activity.
A church in Puerto Viejo, near the large city of Puerto Limon on the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica offers the church, outbuildings including a small kitchen and a large gated covered activity space where children and youth can come and play in a safe environment. The space offers skateboarding props. The church would like to expand the outreach to more children, youth and their families to come under the watch-care and ministry of the church. They also expressed the desire to feed the hungry children and families who come to the center. CC was invited to speak at the church, see the facilities and be with the children playing in the center. A CareProject called CarePoint was proposed as an opportunity to incorporate much needed vocational training for locals needing to learn a job skill while capitalizing on the appetites of the locals and tourists visiting the area from all over the world desiring fresh bread, pastries and pies. Starting a business for marketing those food products while training and hiring those receiving the training would then enable the profits from the bakery sales to sustain the business, train students for jobs in the area, or to be hired by the CarePoint, and then purchase the food to be prepared in the kitchen to donate to those in need in the community. Children and families served at the CarePoint will receive individual care including “triage” services and connection to resources needed for stability and growth. A win-win-win proposition. Cost of each of three identified sites in Costa Rica is approximately $5000 per site. The 3 areas determined suitable for piloting the projects are San Jose, San Jose Heredia, and Puerto Viejo. The first site to be developed is currently Puerto Viejo. While in Costa Rica, the connection with IRCU is documented as CC participates in graduations of university students by speaking the inspirational challenge message and confers degrees on behalf of the University and those involved with the university living in the US.