Twelve years ago, the community of Barrio Manuel Fernández, Nicaragua, looked very different.
Children played in streets littered with garbage and dirty water. With no source of clean water at home, families suffered from water-related illnesses. There were only a few preschools, only three in 10 children attended the first grades of primary school, and parents did not see education as a fundamental human right.
During the nine years CCFC and donors supported the community, 30 toilets were installed in houses; medications, and hygiene and deworming campaigns reduced illnesses; and investments in education and child rights awareness campaigns increased attendance in primary schools to 95 percent!
CCFC workshops strengthened the ability of local groups to plan and implement initiatives to benefit the entire community. Since the community graduated, it continues to lead positive change, offering workshops to strengthen community leadership and support childhood education. More inclusive education practices – including encouraging children to join primary school after age six if they miss enrolment – are helping children thrive.
In addition, new initiatives, including workshops known as “School for Fathers,” are helping men expand their cultural understanding of women and gender equality. As a result, more women are participating in community activities because husbands recognize their important role in community development. Today, the community of 12,303 continues to benefit from donor support.
BARRIO MANUEL FERNÁNDEZ, NICARAGUA – GRADUATED MAY 4, 2010: Kimberly, age 5, shares a poem; graduation celebrations in the street.