On Saturday, April 4, 2015, Boy With a Ball staff members Jamie Johnson, Anna Currie and Joy Sheraden will travel to Managua, Nicaragua to meet a Michigan-based dental ministry led by Ed and Sue Liebenthal and Tom Kasten and to join the BWAB Nicaragua team in offering a free dental clinic in the Barrio Morales neighborhood the team works within.
Boy With a Ball first met the Liebenthals and Kastens who attend Agape Christian Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan in January of 2007 as their group came in to provide a clinic with in the Triangulo de la Solidaridad squatter’s settlement. At that time, the BWAB team was struggling to overcome the skepticism of community members living in El Triangulo regarding our community development efforts. However, when the dental clinic was able to treat over 100 people in just five days and to care for people and build friendships throughout the week, something powerful happened that would go on to become a historic breakthrough for our work in Costa Rica. By the time clinic had come to a close, the families and young people across the squatter’s settlement were turning and embracing Boy With a Ball, opening their hearts to our team members and to work to see this then 3,000 member community grow and change.
The Michigan group returned to Costa Rica to provide dental care to over 139 people in El Triangulo and to see how much their previous trip had accomplished. Currently, Boy With a Ball is proud to have both Ed and Sue Liebenthal as current Boy With a Ball board members.
The dental clinic will begin on Monday, April 6 in coordination with BWAB/El Nino y la Bola NicaraguaExecutive Director Erlin Alvarez Jimenez and Managua Director Esmeralda Morales Lopez who lead a team of more than twenty mostly-university students that Boy With a Ball provides scholarships to in exchange for the students working together to reach and develop at-risk youth in their community. The majority of Boy With a Ball Nicaragua’s team members attend the UNAM, a major university in Managua and Barrio Morales is within walking distance of the school.
Boy With a Ball is thrilled to have Lila Tocci and Amy West fromTocci Building Companiescoming to participate in the trip and dental clinic. Tocci has been a significant supporter of Boy With a Ball’s work in Nicaragua and the entire team is very excited to meet them and to express their gratitude. Boy With a Ball will be posting updates to our Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/boywithaball if you would like to stay involved with this exciting trip.