From Warehouse Assistant to Teacher

Thanks to youth organisations many young people in Nicaragua are becoming the support for their family and community – and they get closer to realising their own ambitions in life.

SWISSAID has good reason to support the youth in Nicaragua: 30 per cent of the population is aged between 15 and 29 years – almost half of the people live in poverty. Young people play a decisive role in a society: thanks to their uncomplicated creativity, they can help to make the difference. However, in rural Nicaragua young women, in particular, often live in isolation under the wing of their fathers, and they are regarded as inferior family members.”

This was the case for Ana Jancy Salmeron Rodriguez (age 17). She was a shy girl who neither spoke with others nor laughed. A job as a warehouse assistant for the youth organisation in her home region of Jucuapa and a monthly wage of about 15 Swiss francs have changed the young woman’s life. In 2015, she began to cultivate passion fruit. Initially, she made an income from the plants but these were destroyed by pests in 2016. So, she invested her money elsewhere and bought three piglets. “When they were mature, I sold one of them and kept a sow and a boar. The mother pig had 13 piglets and I sold ten of them for 30 Swiss francs,” explains Ana Jancy. She used the proceeds to finish secondary school and to pay the admission fees for training college.

More secure, more motivated and happier

“My life has improved,” says Ana Jancy. And not only that: she has become an important support for her entire family. She helped her mother invest in a small shop, and now she no longer has to travel to Costa Rica to work. The mother looks after the pigs when her daughter is working or studying. “I have good prospects to progress, and I feel confident and optimistic as far as my plans for the future are concerned,” comments Ana Jancy. A shy girl has turned into a happy and communicative young woman who is following her new goal in life with determination: she wants to become a teacher.

Ana Jancy’s story is only one of many examples of how young people could improve their economic and social outlook in little time – over 4,000 people in the department of Matagalpa benefit from the five youth organisations that SWISSAID supports. They give the youngsters the necessary strength and security to achieve their ambitions. They courageously accept loans, get involved in the community and earn the respect of their family. Their initiative for the future is reaping rewards – and without their youthful joy and energy falling by the wayside.

What your donation does

With 150 Swiss francs, you can help a young woman, who owns no land and has no access to credit, to invest in small livestock.

Project number: NC 2/16/13

Project costs: 188,138 Swiss francs

Duration: 24 months

Beneficiaries: Over 4,000 young people and their families