Special Post- A Visit From Sarah Woodard

On April 24, the Periclean program was fortunate to hear Sarah Junkin Woodard speak about her work in Nicaragua. The organization she works though is the Center for Development in Central America (CDCA), which has been present in Nicaragua for the past two decades. Mrs. Woodard’s life of service began in North Carolina when she opened up some of the first homeless and battered women shelters in the Statesville area. Her passion for helping the people of Nicaragua was realized when she and her friends discovered they could get a lot more accomplished by pooling their time and money instead of taking individual paths. This led them to drive to Nicaragua with everything they own to continue opening shelters, and through this volunteering their love for the country was ignited. The motivation and slogan behind all of the work Mrs. Woodard does is “another world is possible”. She repeatedly emphasized the poor conditions people are forced to live in and how, with work, another world for these individuals is possible. Some of her efforts to make this possibility a reality include helping small farmers make more profit off of their crops through helping them gain an organic grower license, issue small loans with a small interest rate to local farmers, opening a clinic with many invaluable medical supplies to treat the community, and support local artists by paying them upfront then selling their merchandise in the US.
This presentation applies to the work the Periclean class of 2016 will be doing in Honduras because many of the issues in Nicaragua are also present in Honduras. Poverty and deforestation are just two of the many crippling problems these two countries have in common. Mrs. Woodard also has experience identifying and responding to the needs of the people she comes in contact with. We as Pericleans hope to install a project that positively impacts as many people as possible while also meeting some sort of need in the community. Thus, her tactics and stories act as a source of advice and motivation for the work we will be doing in Honduras. Finally, Mrs. Woodard also aims to make her projects sustainable and the communities she works with self-sufficient. These goals align perfectly with those of the Periclean program and hopefully we are as successful as she has been in meeting them.

By: Annie Goldberg

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