With support from external funding and local community efforts, the foundation is able to aid in the protection, stimulation, and prevention of adults with intellectual disabilities within Juigalpa, Nicaragua. Since the opening of the foundation, Ruach has made an effort in preventing the abuse and social stigma of these individuals. Services such as these are practically nonexistent in most Latin American countries however Ruach's mission is to improve the rights of these individuals.
According to prior research from the Todos con Voz study (Nicaragua,2010), about 40% of all disabled individuals are inflicted by at least one form of intellectual or mental disability. Unfortunately in Nicaragua, the rights of adults with intellectual disabilities are generally not respected by the state or by others in society in general. The abilities of disabled persons are often not recognized or appreciated; our foundation is looking to change this perspective.
We offer social services to people with disabilities in vulnerable situations (15+ years old). By providing a safe haven for adults with intellectual disabilities, we are able to aid in the protection of these individuals. We have also created an activity center that works on increasing self-esteem and happiness of its participants. We not only work with adults with intellectual disabilities but with their families as well. Our project offers services that are nonexistent in Nicaragua.
Not so many years ago, being a person with disabilities in Nicaragua meant a lifetime of suffering in silence. Often they were hidden away from society as they were regarded as "less than human beings" that brought shame to the family. Consequently, very few support programs existed to help families cope with disability! We want to empower adults with intellectual disabilities and their families! Our goal is to change society's perspective and the social stigma that surrounds these individuals.