OUR MISSION is the organization, development and charitable giving to agricultural development, housing, educational,
health, water and nutritional projects and general improvements in living conditions in El Salvador.
Friends From Iowa Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Jerry Burger from Waukee, IA. After taking his first trip to Berlin, Usulután, El Salvador seven years ago with his church group, he was moved by the poverty of the people there. He saw a need and had the resources to help better the lives of these people. He has since returned numerous time to engage in projects ranging from housing, medical help, education, employment opportunities, and most importantly to show the people of El Salvador that we love and care for them.
What Sets Us Apart:
The President and board are not paid an administrative salary, not given any percentage of the donations, or reimbursed for travel expenses. This way, 100% of donations go directly to the programs, and the organization is 100% transparent.
What We Do:
Housing – Friends From Iowa Foundation helps to provide two types of housing, block and metal, to families in horrible living conditions. The block houses are fully furnished and come with stoves, refrigerators, running water, electricity, showers, sinks, and toilets. Greatly improving their living conditions will enhance all other aspects of their lives.
Education – Some schools in El Salvador are not funded by the government. With a high drop out rate and many young adults lacking a basic education, school improvement is vital. We help build, fund, and staff schools so they can stay open and meet the educational needs of those in the community. In order to maintain education excellence, Friends From Iowa Foundation currently funds three certified teachers to teach at Centro Escolar Jerry Burger. This is the only school in the Berlin area that serves students with intellectual disabilities. There is always a need for more teachers at other schools. Currently, each teacher earns $200 per month.
Medical – With families making less than $5 per day, basic healthcare is hard to afford. A serious illness or disability caused by an accident that would cost a family in the U.S. $50 is not affordable for those we help. Our goal is to provide financial assistance to families who face medical needs.
Foundation – For the past 9 years, a Foundation located in Berlin, Usulutan, El Salvador provided physical and mental therapy for 105 children and assisted 30 adult-learners. A certified physical therapist, certified social worker, and a secretary / help aid were employed. Due to funding constraints, the Foundation had to close its doors. Friends From Iowa Foundation saw how vital this Foundation was for the good of the community… and the children it helped; so we resurrected it by buying the building, remodeling, rehiring the three women previously employed, and purchasing necessary equipment. Under our new direction, the Foundation is open again serving both new and returning children and expanded its services and events beyond therapy! Our goal is to provide mental and physical therapy, library, computer access, adult education, resources and meals for the homeless, and community activities.