Women and young people are the key to the future
In Nicaragua, SWISSAID has focussed for the last few years on the following topics:
- Promoting organic, diversified small-farming style agriculture
- Supporting the local economy in rural areas
- Supporting our partner organisations so that they can actively participate in democratic processes at local and regional levels.
- Empowering women to equal decision-making status and ensuring they receive and use their economic, social and cultural rights, in both the private and public arenas.
- Empowering young people with leadership skills so that they can participate in the social, economic and cultural development of their villages.
It is important to us that the gender perspective is present in all programme activities, along with an awareness of the protection and sustainable use of natural resources.
Falling prices and fungus attacks are two of the worst threats to coffee farmers in Nicaragua. SWISSAID supports the founding of cooperatives – and this boosts the population’s economic security.
How many children do we want to have? How will we provide food for our family? It was normal for Esmeralda Álvarez Bermúdez that she had little say in her family and in Nicaraguan society. Since becoming involved in a women’s organisation supported by SWISSAID, her silence is a thing of the past.
Living in poverty and without prospects – that was then. Suddenly, a brighter future with opportunities is in sight for young Nicaraguans who have received loans from SWISSAID and are now able to take up activities that can boost their income.
Despite the average smallholding plot of 2.8 hectares, many farmers in Nicaragua are confronted with half-empty plates. Every day, their existence is threatened by high production costs, fluctuating prices and climate change.
A snack bar, a clothes shop or a small chicken farm – young women show their ideas and entrepreneurial spirit in Nicaragua.
Teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and domestic violence, in particular, have an adverse impact on women in Nicaragua. Training courses and medical assistance are helping break down taboos – and saving lives. 46-year-old Bertha’s case is a good example.
The figures speak for themselves: farmer Pablo Cruz and his wife Cristina Garcia earn almost 40 times as much today as they did seven years ago. Back then their harvest scarcely reached subsistence level. They then became involved with the SWISSAID project for sustainable agriculture. Now, they are able to purchase more land for the very first time.
Why does poverty blight the lives of the farming families around Juguapa in Nicaragua? Experts attribute the situation primarily to the to the poor fertility of the soil. SWISSAID is addressing this. In addition, the farmers, women and men alike, are also being shown a way out of the spiral of poverty and domestic violence.