What do we do?
Scholarships for Education. NCA assists qualifying, needy children and young adults in the Lake Chapala area (from Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos to Jocotepec) to achieve their maximum educational potential. We help support the cost of their school tuition fees, books, supplies and special clothing, and where indicated, by providing an income supplement and/or assistance with related medical needs. NCA has helped several thousand students over the past thirty-seven years. Some beneficiaries of NCA are now practicing lawyers, doctors, accountants, marine biologists, engineers, and successful professionals in other disciplines.
Accountability. As a non-profit organization, NCA is run by its Board of Directors and employees. We are the go-between between our sponsors and sponsored students and their families. We operate with a very low overhead, 95% of money donated to our students goes directly to pay for their education-related expenses. Only 5% is set aside for office overhead and staff expenses. The remaining funds for employee wages and office expenses come from our fund-raising activities. Very strict controls and procedures are in place to track all donations and funds raised to ensure that all monies are properly accounted for.
A Community Organization. NCA is a volunteer-based, hands-on organization, supported by several local community fund-raising groups and activities. This local community support enables NCA to guarantee that 95% of all donated sponsorship funds are received directly by the children. Local community support helps pay for the NCA Chapala project office and staff.
Personal Sponsors. Most NCA sponsors are Canadians and Americans living either north of the US / Mexican border, or residents of the Lake Chapala area. Student levels range from kindergarten to University.
Group Sponsors. NCA is supported by a number of local and international organizations. These include:
- The Outreach Arm of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church
- Lakeside Presbyterian Church Outreach
- The International Chili Cook-Off (a local annual event)
- Instituto Jalisciense de Asistencia Social (IJAS – Jalisco government)
- The American Legion Post 7
- the DAR
- All NCA Board Members
How do we work?
Student Evaluation. NCA maintains a Student Support Centre (The Jeanie Swentik Centre for Education) in Chapala. We maintain contact with the local Mexican community, and identify families and children who are in need of our services. Interviews are conducted and profiles taken, and those who meet our criteria – combining a minimum 8.0 point GPA with low income – are added to our growing list of children seeking sponsors.
Additional Services. NCA is partnered with IDEFT (Instituto de Formación para el Trabajo) to offer English language classes for NCA students, their parents, and others. NCA provides the venue, and IDEFT provides the instruction. We also provide free-of-charge Internet access for all our students.
Finding Sponsors. Information about eligible students is made available to all potential sponsors. The childrens’ photos and needs are featured in a local community publication, on our website, and in the NCA newsletter that we e-mail to our members and potential sponsors. Typically, the information NCA provides includes the family’s social and financial circumstances, and the child’s profile and school situation.
Becoming a Sponsor. Anyone interested in sponsoring a student should call the numbers indicated in the Contact Us page, or contact us via e-mail. NCA will provide access to the pictures and descriptions of students waiting for sponsorship. Additionally, on our website you will find a number of profiles of some of these students. If you wish, we can e-mail this information. All donations, large or small are welcome. A US or Canadian dollar goes a long way in Mexico. Cheques should be made payable to Los Niños de Chapala y Ajijic, A.C. and mailed to one of the addresses on our contact us page.
Your Donation may be Tax Deductible!
If you file taxes in the United States, NCA has tax-deductible recognition through the Foundation for Lake Chapala Charities. This Foundation was established to give NCA 501(c) 3 status in the USA. To make your sponsorship tax deductible, make your check payable to “Foundation for Lake Chapala Charities, S.A.” and indicate “for NCA” on your check, plus the name of the student you are sponsoring.