NCA AGM Report
By Judy King
The new board of directors and officers of the Niños de Chapala and Ajijic were confirmed at the group’s recent annual general meeting.
A bevy of ideas, plans and systems to ensure the ongoing success of the Niños de Chapala and Ajijic (NCA) educational program were discussed by the participants of the organization’s recent annual general meeting.
As the group continues to work toward bringing continuing education to the children and young people at lakeside, the program evolves to include new features. An English teacher is now teaching a class that is open to all students around noon every Saturday at the office.
As the year evolves, NCA hopes to develop a system to put into practice an offer from the members of the Needlepushers group to sew uniforms and thereby assist parents with the cost of outfitting children each fall. The recent development of policies and procedures for the office and guidelines for sponsors and students are expected to help parents and sponsors know the distribution of expenses and donations.
Recent changes to the NCA website now allows sponsors to access their student’s report card and progress reports and the status of their financial account.
Susan Johnson is representing NCA by being at the Lake Chapala Society every Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. There she can promotes and explain the NCA program and enlist additional sponsors. Several students were able to recruit their own sponsors when they attended the NCA Valentine’s Day Gala and then spoke to the audience of their needs, hopes and dreams.
El Bazar de los Niños is currently providing an average monthly contribution of 8,000 to 10,000 pesos. These funds are used to cover the NCA overhead costs for the office and staff. The store employs four competent young women from the same family and when there is heavy lifting or trucking to be done, they call in their brothers. NCA director Lori Skoda who supervises the bazaar’s activities says these young people are “the backbone of the business.”
During the meeting a slate of candidates for board of directors and officers of NCA for the coming year were presented. The slate, which included President Bill Friend, Vice-President Tim Whiting, Treasurer Nancy Allan, Secretary Amy Friend, Director Web Master Doug Friend, Director Special Events Shannon Blair, and three directors at large: Lori Skoda, Susan Johnson and Nicole Belinne.
Belinne, the newest board has specialized training with autistic children, communicative disorders, and teaching language, social and life skills. She worked with foster and adoptive parents and facility staff, teaching them positive behavioral intervention techniques while developing and implementing programs to reduce problematic behaviors, and stabilize the placements of foster and adoptive children.