Nicaragua

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Woman becomes guardian angel to vulnerable children

How a community member in Nicaragua protected children from domestic abuse

By Enmanuel Castro, communications manager, Nicaragua

Jacinta has good reason to smile. The Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) volunteer from Managua, Nicaragua is making her community safer for children.

Two children in particular were lucky to have a neighbour call Jacinta, a recognized community leader, to rescue them from their stepmother’s abuse.

Jacinta knew she had to help, especially considering she herself previously suffered severe abuse from her siblings. “When you have a very sad and mistreated childhood, you don’t want to see another child [suffer],” she says.

So, she took the children to the local community centre to hear their side of the story, before taking them to the police with support from program staff.

The six-year-old boy had redness on his chest and the eight-year-old girl couldn’t move her arm after being hit with a telephone wire.

In Nicaragua, domestic violence can be considered “punishment.” It’s a vicious cycle of behaviour, which often begins with men abusing their wives who then hit their children.

With support through CCFC, behaviours are slowly changing in Nicaraguan communities. Jacinta has spent years helping women identify abuse and get help. And, through coordination with local school administration, CCFC and other civil-society organizations, many community members have learned children deserve a childhood free from violence.

Jacinta believes that firmly. She’s happy the family of the children she helped now receives psychological support and a social worker visits to ensure everyone is safe.

At 55, Jacinta looks ahead with optimism. She wishes she could do more to protect children. “I love working with [them],” she says.

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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.

 

What We Do

We work to protect and improve the lives of children by helping them realize their basic human rights – nutritious food, clean water, health care and education. We empower children to grow up confident, know their rights, be active in the community, and take the lead in their own change. 
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