SOS Children in Nicaragua

Sponsorship sites in Nicaragua

Nicaragua in Central America is the third poorest country in the Americas. Poverty affects 2.3 million people, a third of whom live in extreme poverty, mainly in the Central and Atlantic regions. One in every three children has some degree of chronic malnutrition and nine per cent suffer from severe malnutrition. Safe water and sanitation coverage remains low, particularly in rural areas and those with dispersed populations.

The economy, which was devastated during the 1980s by civil war, experienced a sharp growth in the 1990s but suffered another catastrophic blow in 1998 when Hurricane Mitch hit central Nicaragua. Over half the season's crops were destroyed and over 50 per cent of the country?s lifestock lost, with agricultural land not expected to recover for at least five years.

The charity began working in Nicaragua in 1973 following the earthquake which destroyed the capital of Managua, building a community in Esteli in northwest Nicaragua about 150 km from the capital. There are now four communities, as well as numerous social welfare and educational projects which also benefit local communities.

The Esteli coomunity has twelve family houses as well as a kindergarten, a clinic, primary and secondary schools, youth houses for the older children and a vocational training centre with courses in carpentry, dressmaking, baking, etc. By teaching in shifts, the schools can accommodate over 1200 pupils. A small farm provides most of the needs of the community. Esteli also has an SOS Social Centre where local working mothers, mostly single, can leave their children during the day. Here, over 150 children from babies to six-year-olds are given three meals a day and medical care. The care provided by this and the other SOS social centres is a fundamental part of SOS Children's work in Nicaragua.

The charity built a second Nicaraguan Village in 1979, to the west of Juigalpa, about 138 km north east of Managua. SOS Children Juigalpa has ten family houses and a kindergarten, as well as a child day care centre similar to Esteli, for children of single mothers in the vicinity. A medical centre set up by SOS Children's Villages provides treatment for children from the village and the local community.

SOS Children completed a third charity village at Managua in 1995. Situated in an attractive residential area in the north-west of the capital, it has twelve family houses built in the local style. Adjoining the village and providing facilities for neighbourhood families as well as the SOS children are a kindergarten, a day care centre and a medical centre. A primary and secondary school were opened in 1999, with children in the primary school being taught in shifts.

The charity's Matagalpa community opened in 2000. It is in central Nicaragua, in an area which was badly affected by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The community consists of ten family houses, which provide a home for up to one hundred children, a house for the community Director, a guesthouse and an administrative building with a all-purpose community room. The SOS Social Centre includes a day care centre, a kindergarten, a library, classrooms for different workshops (computer, cosmetics, tailoring), a paediatric medical care centre and a dental practice.

Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, an emergency relief programme was set up in Leon. There is now an SOS Children’s Village at Leon which opened in 2004. There are 10 family homes and a social centre, which provides child day-care and training workshops for the local community.

Local Contacts

SOS Children in Nicaragua:
Asociación Aldeas SOS de Ninos Nicaragua,
Del Gimnasio Hercules 1 cuadra al Este,
2 cuadras al Sur,
Reparto San Juan,
Postal Address:
Apartado Postal 3717,
Tel: +505/278 64 16, +505/278 64 14
Fax: +505/278 06 86 107

Nicaragua Child Sponsorship

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