Founded in 1996 in San Francisco Libre, Managua, Nicaragua and an IPM Project Partner since 2000, Mujer y Comunidad (Women in Community) promotes the education, health, and wellbeing of women, youth, and children, as well as human rights.
Annually, the organization benefits an average of 3,800 people in around 30 communities of San Francisco Libre. Current estimates show that about 30% of the women in San Francisco Libre participate in Mujer y Comunidad.
Their work is currently organized two working areas – Women and Youth – with five associated programs: Women’s Rights Promotion, Comprehensive Care for Women, Economic Empowerment of Women and Youth, Preparation of Human Resources (scholarship program), and the Youth Leadership Program within which the Eco Juvenil radio station is located.
Through IPM’s donors’ support, women, youth, and others in these communities receive basic information about pregnancy, loans & training in business & leadership, and education on basic human rights, such as counseling & legal assistance for domestic crime.
The women are grateful for IPM’s partnership & accompaniment. Arbelia Conde, who has been involved with the Project for 13 years, emphasizes that she believes that IPM gives people, including those in her community, the opportunity to realize their dreams. Another local resident involved in the Project, Gloria Mayorga, emphasized that IPM has provided a tremendous support through the scholarship program for adolescents & young adults in San Francisco Libre.
Read about their progress in the 2019 LAC Annual Report.
I. Scholarship Education Program
Mujer y Comunidad provides scholarship funding for the education of women and children. In 2013, 29 women were provided access to higher education. For the underage scholarship recipients, the Project ensures parent involvement through mandatory attendance at periodical meetings.
II. Workshop Program
The Project organizes workshops to give local residents an opportunity to find out more about and discuss topics of social importance, such as gender roles & identities, as well as violence against women & children.
These workshops ultimately empower the San Francisco Libre residents to be active citizens and changemakers and demand respect for all their rights.
In September 2014, Mujer y Comunidad held a workshop for secondary school students on gender equality, power dynamics, and family violence. The workshop focused on analyzing how to gender inequality fosters family violence. The young participants were divided into smaller working groups, in order to feel empowered to express their ideas, have fruitful discussions, and reach a consensus on the topics at hand.
Mujer y Comunidad also organized a workshop for women regarding power and domination in women’s lives, as well as the concept of patriarchal ideology. The participants were invited to share their personal experiences on how power imbalances affect their lives & decisions. They also debated ways in which they could personally counteract and prevent male domination in the family and community.
The Project also collaborated with other nonprofits and governmental organizations to expand their outreach. Some of the institutions with which Mujer y Comunidad partnered include the municipal delegation of the Ministry of Education, City Hall, and local nonprofits that focus on promoting women & girl’s rights.
As an example, in August 2014, Mujer y Comunidad partnered with another nonprofit, Managua Furiosa (Furious Managua), to organize a documentary screening and forum for secondary school and university students. The documentary, El Engano (Deceit), focused on presenting several stories of people trafficked for sexual & labor exploitation. It further explored how the use of force, rape, deceit, fraud, and power abuses of a situation of vulnerability are methods used by traffickers to bring people into exploitative circumstances. The discussion following the presentation focused on equipping the participants with the knowledge & skills to avoid becoming victims of trafficking themselves, as well as provide assistance to those who might fall victim to it.
Moreover, to promote access to health in the rural communities, Mujer y Comunidad has partnered with the Ministry of Health to secure the placement of a doctor that visits three different communities once a week.
IV. Youth Radio
Mujer y Comunidad also recently launched a youth radio run by the young people in San Francisco Libre. This initiative allows them to explore firsthand radio & broadcasting careers, as well as to provide air programs with topics that are of interest to a youthful audience.
V. Goals & Projections
Financial resources are needed to reach the demand for scholarships to attend both university and vocation studies, which has increased by 50 percent since last year.
At the same time, more funding is needed to continue carrying out the successful, thought-provoking, and engaging workshops for women & youth. Additional resources are also needed for transportation during the rainy season to enable participation in the workshops.