Supporters make it possible to rebuild safe spaces for children and youth
By Enmanuel Castro, communications manager, Nicaragua
In April 2014 an earthquake damaged the community centre in Bello Amanecer, Nicaragua. Since then, children and youth haven’t had a safe place to study, learn and grow together.
Kener — who was born in the community and has been part of the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada program since he was five — understands the hole it left children and families. “For a long time, we did not have a fixed place to gather,” the 17-year-old leader explains. “[Instead we] gathered in our houses or in the community’s public basketball court, however, these [meeting places were] not totally secure.”
But, children and youth in the community can once again celebrate having a safe space to learn and speak up for positive change, thanks to a rebuild project backed by our generous supporters. “With the new centre, we hope more children will join groups where we promote child rights,” says Kener.
Indeed, the revamped community centre will — once again — give children and youth a place to gather and host activities. For example, the Girl’s Network can meet here to learn and promote their rights.
And, since education should start from a young age, it was important for the project to include the reconstruction of a preschool. “This helps more girls and boys enjoy their rights and be part of positive change in a safe environment,” notes María Isabel López, country director of our Nicaraguan office.
Parents can see the difference it makes. “Thanks to sponsor support my child has a safer place (to learn),” explains Tatiana, the mother of a toddler who attends the preschool. She adds: “In the past, the restrooms and floor were damaged; now they’re in good condition.”
Tatiana is one of 80 parents trained on issues such as children’s rights, child protection and health, as part of the same project. Some 250 youth were also part of education sessions on preventing teen pregnancy and reproductive health in a bid to reduce the high rates of teenage pregnancy.
In the end, more than 1,800 children and nearly 11,000 community members benefited from the project and were excited to celebrate the new facilities.
We’re seeing amazing progress in creating positive lasting change in this community, but it takes time. Sponsorship in Bello Amanecer began more than 10 years ago. Thanks to our donors more than 1,000 children and youth are accessing health, water and a quality education, so they can stand up for their rights and dream fearlessly. We’re excited to continue promoting good health and healthy environments.
To learn more about how you can sponsor a child, and impact an entire community, visit ccfcanada.ca/sponsor-a-child.
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About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada works globally to support children and youth who dream of a better world. For nearly 60 years, we’ve brought together diverse people and partnerships, driven by a common belief: education extends beyond the walls of a classroom and is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world. We focus on breaking barriers preventing access to inclusive, quality education for all, especially girls.