Louise Nielsen was blessed with a generous and compassionate heart, which played a significant role in the establishment of Winds of Peace. Among her most fervent hopes was that the young people of Nicaragua–young women especially–would have greater access to learning. In that spirit, this independent fund is administered by WPF.
The purpose of the initiative is to create and fund a research, development and implementation initiative, under the auspices of Winds of Peace Foundation, which will contribute to the transformation of Nicaraguan education by increasing practical access to and quality of education, and utilizing development of Nicaraguan ideas, programs, educators and strategies toward those ends. Elements of this program may include scholarship funding, education research, collaboration with Nicaraguan entities engaged in education development, creation of seminars or workshops, teacher training or other related activities.
Since 2012, WPF has been a funding partner for this campaign, which provides resources for “mini libraries” in rural schools. An effort has been made to improve the quality of the books from their physical point of view, and in the selection more hard cover titles have been included. In the selection of the books to be distributed in recent years, the organizers have had the outstanding participation of the Books for Children Foundation, an organization that prepared a special supply that included books of national and Central American authors. The identification of fun and interesting book titles has played a major role in increasing reading fluidity and comprehension since the inception of the program in 2010: both indicators increased by 6%, while increasing the number of classrooms and getting more than 80% of their students reading in accordance with the goals and responding correctly to the questions about the text that they read.
In addition to its focus on books and reading programs, WPF has provided funding for Fe y Alegria in Nicaragua and its 22 schools located throughout the country, including elementary and vocational-technical schools.
The focus on improved education has not been limited to the students in the lower grades. The Foundation has partnered with the University of Central America (UCA) in Nicaragua for several years to provide scholarships for Master’s in Education students. As importantly, WPF has also funded research and implementation of in-field teacher assessments and classroom effectiveness through The Institute of Education of the University of Central America (IDEUCA).