We have been operating in Nicaragua since 1984, guaranteeing a constant presence in the most vulnerable areas of the country, such as the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast, an area of ​​predominantly indigenous and Afro-descendant people; and also in the departments located in the Dry Corridor (in the central-northern area of ​​the country), such as Matagalpa and Jinotega. Currently we work in the sectors of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and in comprehensive disaster risk management. We have 2 offices in the country, the administrative headquarters in Managua and another in Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas. 

The context

According to data from the UNDP Human Development Index, Nicaragua is one of the four countries with the highest poverty rates in Central and South America. In 2020, the country experienced an increase in the number of people living below the poverty line, reaching 45.4% (almost 3 million people), of which 8.7% lived in extreme poverty (with less than a dollar a day). Although the incidence of poverty is high for the rural population in general, it is especially so for the population of the regions in the Caribbean Coast, where the poverty percentage reaches 63.2%. 

In recent years there has been an increase in the rates of gender violence and feminicide in the country. Among Central American countries, Nicaragua registers the highest rate of early pregnancies due to sexual abuse. In addition, the country is situated in a region strongly hit by adverse natural phenomena, such as the hurricanes Eta and Iota of 2021. 

Our intervention

In Nicaragua, we have experience on multiple themes. We guarantee the application of rights, gender and intercultural approaches, as well as prior coordination with authorities at different levels, including the governance structures of indigenous and afro-descendant populations, and local Non-Profit Organizations. 

We guide our intervention working in two main programs: 

  • Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls 
  • Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management 

Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls 

We work, together with local organizations, with the intention of strengthening their organizational capacities and their action and intervention in the field of protection and primary care for women, adolescents, girls and boys who are survivors of or at risk of violence in all its manifestations. We contribute to preventing gender violence and promoting emancipation processes for young people and women (mostly rural, indigenous and afro-descendant), promoting a change in cultural models and social schemes that induce violent and discriminatory behavior. 

Our action is structured into 3 components:  

  • Prevention and awareness: these activities focus on strengthening community protection networks and reinforcing the access route to justice, together with leaders and promoters. We also work with these actors through training on gender equality, gender-based violence, new masculinities, selfcare, etc. We work together with men and women; mothers and fathers; young people and adolescents and religious leaders always from a comprehensive perspective. With young people, the program has a specific focus on raising awareness on Sexual and Reproductive Health issues, contributing to building their capacity to take well informed decision-making. 
  • Direct assistance: regarding care for survivors, the response is provided through psychological support, legal accompaniment, medical assistance and/or shelter. 
  • Economic empowerment: the aim is to help women build life plans and support them to undertake productive activities, both individually and collectively. 

Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management 

From an environmental point of view, we work around three main components:  

  • Recovery of livelihoods: we work to support communities through the delivery of agricultural or fishing vouchers, seeds and tubers, agricultural tool kits, the construction of seed banks, etc. In addition, we seek to promote training spaces on livelihoods and food and nutritional security and to strengthen the capacities of the Administration Committees of the Community Seed Banks. 
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): the aim is to improve the provision of WASH capacities at the community level through multiple actions such as the cleaning, disinfection and rehabilitation of underground water sources, the installation of Rainwater Harvesting Systems (SCALL) and the delivery of filters for water treatment, the construction of multi-family latrines and the delivery of basic hygiene kits. Of utmost importance is also the work on awareness in the field of Menstrual Hygiene Management and monitoring of water quality, among others. 
  • Rehabilitation of schools: through this component we seek to improve the food and health capacities of schools. To achieve this, multiple initiatives are carried out, such as the installation of SCALL Systems, hand washing stations, the construction of kitchens, school warehouses, showers, spaces for menstrual hygiene and latrines (suitable for use by people with disabilities), the rehabilitation of classrooms and the construction of recreational spaces to address topics such as the prevention of vector-borne diseases and environmental education.