Human Development Index (HDI) for 2012:
0.599 (ranked 129 out of 187, indicating medium human development)
Under-five mortality rate:
27 per 1,000 live births. Nicaragua ranks 80 in the world.
Children Helped: 11,606
Other People Helped: 58,030
Local Partners: 8
Total Programs: 10
In Nicaraguan slums, it's nearly impossible to see beyond the poverty, disease, and hunger that overwhelm families on a daily basis. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America and nearly half of people between the ages of 15 and 45 are unemployed.
For most of the population, access to potable water, sanitation, electricity, and primary health care is very limited. Education is beyond the means of most families.
In the communities where we work, single mothers head the majority of families. They work long hours as garbage recyclers or street vendors selling tortillas, cooked beans, candy, or used clothing at the side of the road. These hard working mothers barely make ends meet. It's difficult to provide adequate food, education, clothing, and medical care for their children.
Poverty has a particularly cruel impact on Nicaraguan children. When families don't have money for schooling, another generation is doomed to a destitute future. Read about how donors are changing that.
Involving children in educational programs from an early age sets them up for success, and we believe that all children deserve that chance!
CCFC supported the construction of a new multi-level preschool classroom equipped with school supplies, new furniture, a kitchen, washrooms, and a playground. We also encourage children to attend school through awareness campaigns, by training teachers, and providing school supplies and uniforms to students.
Previously, La Comuna preschool in Nicaragua was in a small church that didn't have washrooms, or a ventilation system. Afraid for their children's health and safety, parents would often keep their children out of school, depriving them of early childhood education. We can't blame them. But with every other school in the neighbourhood filled to capacity, their children didn't have the same chance as other kids. Now, these children can go to preschool and their parents don't have to worry!
Sustainable Livelihood Development
To support her family, Flor de María Cruz Gutiérrez makes and sells nacatamales, the national dish of Nicaragua. Before CCFC implemented a Kitchen Improvement project, Flor's kitchen was made of wood and earthen floor.
"My food was exposed to many bacteria. When it rained, everything was wet and there was a lot of mud. I am happy and grateful for the project because it has benefited my family and the people I offer my nacatamales to, as these are much more hygienic," Flor says. And her sales have tripled, generating more income for her family.
With the help of CCFC donors, kitchen areaswere constructed, complete with the installation of water and sewage connection. Each kitchen is equipped with an improved stove of low fuel consumption and low smoke emission. Also, beneficiaries were trained in hygiene and health issues and provided with financial resources for the effective management of microenterprises.
In total, 121 family microenterprises from Esteli District III, Nicaragua now have hygienic kitchens. Each participating family has a loan for 50% of the cost of the kitchen that they're responsible for paying back.
"This project is helping to improve the hygienic conditions of housing and food production area, is strengthening management capacity and reducing environmental pollution as well as the risk of diseases, in entrepreneurial families and in their neighbors, impacting about 8,000 people," said CCFC's Country Director in Nicaragua.
Health and Nutrition
In Pueblo Nuevo, Nicaragua, our donors are supporting a health care program. Poor families and children who can't afford medicine or check-ups receive the care they need. The program focuses on disease prevention. By promoting a clean and healthy environment, children and their families are less frequently exposed to diseases and communicable illnesses. Antiparasitic education campaigns enable families to be proactive about their health, reducing their reliance on costly medicines. In cases of abuse or trauma, children and families have access to psychological counseling, which helps victims of domestic violence and exploitation deal with the trauma.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
CCFC has built latrines and proper sanitation facilities in five Nicaraguan schools, complete with clean water for washing and drinking. More than 1,400 young children in the Las Torres and Hilario Sánchez neighbourhoods of Managua, Nicaragua, benefit from this project.
Before CCFC built the new facilities, children were suffering from frequent gastrointestinal infections, all because the school didn't have clean water or any washrooms. Children were missing school. Poor academic performance was common. Now, students are much healthier. They're able to play sports without fear of dehydration, and they can go to the bathroom at school!
Strengthening Community Organizations
Whenever it rained in sector 14 of Barrios Unidos in Somoto, Nicaragua, water would stream down from the mountains, cutting residents off from the rest of the city. Flooding made it impossible to move around, and every winter, the homes of families living in that area were flooded.
To solve the problem, the community rallied together to promote a bridge-building project in the municipality. With financial support from Christian Children's Fund of Canada and the support of the program partner in Somoto, local residents built an underground bridge, known as a Box Bridge.
Approximately 2,655 children and 2,410 youth and adults will directly benefit. The entire population of Somoto will indirectly benefit from the newfound freedom of Barrios Unidos residents to move about the city regardless of the weather.