Rural Nicaraguan families living in poverty face many challenges: food insecurity, poor housing conditions, lack of sanitation facilities, and few opportunities to improve their lives. Often, they have no voice and are forgotten by their local municipality and the national government.
With ODESAR’s help, impoverished families in 8 rural villages in Esquipulas, Matagalpa are confronting these challenges! ODESAR’s holistic program consists of training and support in: organic agriculture, nutrition, advocacy, home improvements, hygiene and sanitation, gender relations, youth, and entrepreneurial skills.
The achievements are many. According to the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, child malnutrition has been eradicated among families participating in the initiative! Another great success is that twelve previously illiterate women learned how to read and write. Kenoli came to their graduation and one told us, “I always felt that I was in the dark. I was ashamed of myself. Now that I can read and write, I feel that the light has been turned on. I am so happy!” These are incredible achievements!
The families also learned how to advocate for themselves and as a consequence, the municipality approved 15 different projects, such as: provision of electricity for the village of Las Tablas, construction of a health post in Santa Teresa, improved drinking water in Las Sirenas, construction of roads in El Quebrachal and Miraguas, and bakery training for the women of El Rodeo. Not only have these changes significantly improved the quality of their lives, but more importantly, the families have learned how to have their voices heard!
Other achievements with ODESAR’s help include
More families have access to clean water
More families have diversified gardens, including medicinal plants
Less families eat junk food
More women improved their homes by building improved stoves and cupboards, polishing floors and walls, and adding rural toilets
Women’s positions in the home and community improved as a result of gender education.