Nica HOPE: Haciendo Oportunidades Por Educacion
Nica HOPE is a new nonprofit that aims to provide education and vocational training opportunities for young men, women, and children in Managua, Nicaragua. The program will support and help expand two existing vocational schools in Managua, Nicaragua, while also establishing, building, and managing two new integrated vocational training/education facilities. Business arms of each of these schools will also be set up to support school sustainability and to generate income and job opportunities for school graduates. The activities of this project will be largely targeted toward families living in the Managua city dump.
La Chureca: Over 175 families live in the Managua city dump, known as La Chureca. Many more come daily to comb through the piles of trash to find enough recycleables to sell to pay for food and other necessities. There are severe respiratory and other health problems from breathing in the fumes of the smoking and burning piles of trash. Malnutrition is widespread and evident in the children’s swelled bellies and blond hair, a result of a lack in nutrients that maintain its natural dark color. STDs and prostitution are also a problem, and girls of all ages sell their bodies for money or trade them for other commodities. Many children and adults are addicted to sniffing shoe-glue, which helps suppress hunger and allows them to escape the reality of the life and the landfill they are trapped in. There are limited employment or living opportunities for these families outside of La Chureca, leaving them dependent on their existence in the dump.
Employment constraints: Alarmingly high unemployment/ underemployment coupled with insufficient education and training opportunities inhibit the abilities of Nicaraguans to improve their own lives through self-motivated effort and hard work. Untrained workers are left to compete for limited opportunities at subsistence levels of pay. Many Nicaraguans have the creative talent and drive to be reliable and skilled workers but lack the education and training to cultivate this potential. Foreign investment is bolstering the growth of various business industries in the country, promising a future with more job opportunity. However, unless impoverished Nicaraguans are taught business fundamentals and the skills necessary to perform these jobs, they will be unable to utilize this opportunity to pull themselves up out of poverty.
Project Opportunity: Education and vocational training will provide the necessary skills to access opportunities for employment and income-generation for these communities. Increased coordination and networking will allow marginalized groups to better access existing opportunities. Project Nica HOPE will leverage available resources in financial, human, and social capital in order to provide opportunities for these communities to improve their own lives through socioeconomic advancement.