January 20, 2014

Reviewing Achievements – Setting Directions

Blog Archives:

During the past four months, EduDeo’s partner organization ACECEN (Association of Evangelical Christian Education Centers of Nicaragua) in Nicaragua is in an exciting time as they review current efforts and processes to further better their practices. They are engaged in preparatory work for developing a strategic plan, have gathered progress indicators of school improvement, and collected statistical data about student enrollment, including student retention, school dropout and school attendance rates for member Christian schools.

Last week ACECEN held a two-day session to begin a six-month process to develop a new strategic plan. The process is facilitated by Diana Ramiras Marecos, Executive Director of Coaching ONG. The process includes reviewing its vision and mission, outlining goals and
key areas of work, and considering the necessary personnel and financial resources.

Robert Koole, Walking Together Director went to Nicaragua to participate in the two-day session. He shares a little bit of how the days and meetings went:

The first day’s opening devotionals focused our attention on the work God calls us to in teaching and learning and in ACECEN’s work as an organization (II Tim 2:1-7 and I Chronicles 12:8). The remainder of the day was broken into four different sessions. The facilitator engaged the group in dialogue around the question, “Why does ACECEN exist?” This discussion drew out the facilitators and the director’s perceptions about the organization and identified obstacles and achievements.

We focused on key identifying questions such as,
   What is ACECEN?
   What activities does it perform?
   With whom do you work?
   For what does ACECEN work?
   What differentiates it from other organizations (NGOs)?

Looking at these questions, help in further identifying ACECEN’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats – an important assessment for any organization. Finally, before the days end, we outlined various avenues for fundraising, including deliberation about each avenue’ suitability for ACECEN.

Pablo Melendez, ACECEN executive director led opening devotions the following day based on Joshua 8 and 4. He encouraged others to ask themselves: What signs are we building for the next generation?  What will be ACECEN’s legacy? He emphasized our responsibility and need to be an altar to the Lord, in order to be of service to the school community.

After an opening session about communication, the rest of the day was spent outlining main objectives for a new strategic plan 2015-2020 (with 2014 as a transition year). These discussions drew ideas from the opportunities and weaknesses outlined on the first day. Subsequently, each main objective was subdivided into specific objectives, potential strategies for achievement and approximate timeline for each. Over the next six months, the ideas generated and draft outlines will be collated and undergo further development.

It is wonderful to see how God is working through our partners in ACECEN and exciting to take the time to really think about the future within a strategic plan in order to truly see growth in all areas that ACECEN works within. We are thankful for a successful meeting once again.

Robert Koole, Walking Together Director


Nathaniel Boersema
Jan 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm

This is an exciting time for ACECEN. We pray that over the next six months God will truly bless this process and make clear for ACECEN areas in which they can continue to serve the Christian school communities.

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