For 12 years CFCA has worked in the BOSAWAS biosphere reserve of Nicaragua – also known as “the lungs of Central America.“ This very important ecological region is home to approximately 32,000 Miskito and Mayagna indigenous people who are facing challenges of climate change, extreme poverty and threats to their indigenous territory.
The partnership with Change for Children has resulted in construction of 4 schools, dental and health treatment for 1000`s of villagers, training of local health promoters, strengthening of leadership, and sustainable energy sources.
But there is still much to do.
Supporting Solutions – Community to Community
ACCESS TO EDUCATION – SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION
In Nicaragua, nearly two million children (ages 5–18) do not attend school.
There is a chronic lack of resources; most kids who do enter grade 1 drop out before they finish primary school. Potential students face poor health conditions, malnutrition, and child labor, since many poor children must contribute to the family’s income.
The poor have less access to education. The majority of the secondary school level youth do not live close to a secondary school and do not have the resources to travel. Often it is primary school teachers in a community that offer instruction to secondary school students wherever they can find space: a church, small, overcrowded homes, or in the shade of a tree or building – if at all. Girls are less likely to be allowed to leave their household responsibilities or to travel long distances to attend school. These schools allow indigenous students to receive a bi-lingual secondary school education in their local communities.
A school building can transform a community!
BUILDING INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP CAPACITY
The capacity building plans are designed to build leadership amongst indigenous peoples across the territories, particularly in youth. This involves installing solar panels, computers and satellite internet connections in Walikitang; San Andres and Yakalpanani. The satellite internet connection not only allows leaders to communicate with each other within the territories, but also to connect with the outside world with their families and with foundations and organizations which might want to cooperate with them to save the rainforest.
IMPROVING FOOD SECURITY
Indigenous groups in the BOSAWAS are facing the highest rates of poverty, malnutrition, and vitamin deficiencies in Nicaragua. According to the World Health Organization (2005), the region has the highest numbers of ‘stunted growth’ amongst children 5 years and younger due to severe malnutrition. The effects of climate change, including unpredictable precipitation rates, drought, plagues, and natural disasters are devastating food production and security in the region. Improving food security and nutrition in the region will contribute to improved health and brain development, which will allow for children to access education and become productive members of their societies. The Food in the Forest project focuses on diet diversification and agriculture training to address these issues including: training in effective cultivation, distribution of agriculture tools that can help increase yields up to 50%, distribution of seeds to increase food production, provide income and diversify diets and, establishing community gardens.