The Girls' Day Shelter offers girls from extremely poor problem families a place to come during the day, before and after school. Girls can spend time at the shelter, receive meals, take showers, get help with their schoolwork and participate in creative activities. In critical situations, they may stay overnight. The girls' backgrounds may include alcohol, drugs, prostitution and sexual abuse. It was founded by two activist Nicaraguan women in 1999 and supported by Nicaragua Projekt since 2006.
Our challenge is to break the cycle of poverty, physical and sexual abuse, unwanted teenage pregnancies, lack of education, drug and alcohol use and hopelessness that face young girls growing up in the Barrio Sandino in Ocotal.
Girls come to the Day Shelter before and after school. They receive lunch and a snack. A tutor assists with homework. A psychologist offers group sessions and individual counselling. All the girls and their families receive free medical and dental treatment. Creative activities include dance classes and recitals, painting, arts and crafts. The Shelter emphasizes the importance of education, organizes apprenticeships, and offers university scholarships. We keep close contact with girl's families.
At the Girls' Day Shelter, quality of life improves daily. Girls learn there are alternatives to early pregnancies leading to dire poverty. As our girls continue their educations, their prospects improve. They find support and receive counselling that increase their self-confidence and are less likely be victims of abuse. Most girls finish sixth grade, many are highschool graduates. A number have enrolled in the technical evening school program. Two are in their final semester at university.