Radios: A Lifeline to Safety for Nicaraguan Women

by MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.
Radios: A Lifeline to Safety for Nicaraguan Women

With your support, Indigenous women in rural communities have vital information to protect their rights, thanks to the radio station run by our local partner group, Wangki Tangni. It has thrived for two years now and remains the only women’s rights radio broadcasting on Nicaragua’s North Atlantic Coast.

Relayed in both Spanish and Miskito, the local Indigenous language, the programs inform women who have survived abuse about how to reach shelters, medical care and legal services. Your support has also helped provide over 200 solar-powered radios to Indigenous women, so that this life-saving information reaches even the most isolated communities without electricity.

To strengthen this project, MADRE sponsored a gathering of Indigenous radio producers and activists in Oaxaca, Mexico in September. There, Wangki Tangni’s team visited a local Indigenous community radio station and exchanged strategies to use the radio to organize their communities for progressive action. They also received training from a local activist on storytelling and on using radio as a tool to transmit Indigenous oral histories.

“What I liked the most about the trip to Oaxaca was learning new tools and strategies on how to continue strengthening our storytelling on the radio. After the capacity building, we want to incorporate more stories; radio programming is done better when we incorporate our own stories and those of our communities.” Larisa Escobar, Wangki Tangni’s Executive Director

Thank you for your support of this valuable program! In the photo above, you can see Vilma (left), who attended the training in Oaxaca, and Rose, Wangki Tangni’s leader at the radio station. While this program will no longer be featured on Global Giving, it continues to flourish. To learn more about the radio program, please visit for updates.

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Your support reaches remote communities in Nicaragua through the human rights radio program run by our partners Wangki Tangni.

The radio programming shares valuable information, like where women and girls fleeing violence can find shelter and how they can reach our local partners. And because of your support, we have distributed over 200 radios to Indigenous women, so they can tune into our broadcasts.

Feminist futures emerge when we build stronger intergenerational relationships and empower girls to speak up and demand their rights. Oftentimes, young girls facing gender discrimination may not feel comfortable speaking out, even to their own parents. But with small, everyday actions, that can change. Recently, a family was listening to the radio program, and it sparked a discussion about harassment. Their 11-year-old daughter opened up about the harassment she was facing from a boy at school. She asked them for help, and they took her to our local partners, who are helping her to resolve the situation and to feel supported. Thanks to you, girls in rural Nicaragua are learning how to speak up and demand their rights.

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Enith and Dacia live on the radio.
Enith and Dacia live on the radio.

With our partner Wangki Tangni in Nicaragua, we run a human rights radio station. Women from the local community share stories and resources over the radio, and bridge connections between remote communities that can only be accessed by boat. The radio program shares vital resources about domestic violence for women in rural areas. Since the launch of the radio station, women have reported that they feel empowered, informed and supported. Thank you for making this possible! Above, you can see Enith Chow and Dacia Pineda live on the radio sharing stories about how women fight violence and build safer communities.

Photo Credit: Wangki Tangni

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A women's human rights defender broadcasting!
A women's human rights defender broadcasting!

The women’s rights radio station that we support through our partners, Wangki Tangni, changes people’s lives and brings communities together.

Men and boys who listen to the radio station have reported they changed their behaviors after learning about the impact of violence. They hear the voices of women’s human rights defenders on the radio, spreading the powerful message that women have the right to a life free of violence, and those broadcasts trigger new conversations with men and boys.

The radio also serves as an important way to communicate across communities, as people are able to call in and send greetings to friends and family in other towns. This is especially important for the most remote communities, who reported that they felt abandoned and alone prior to the launch of the radio station. Thanks to your support, we are making strides to reduce violence in communities and help families stay connected!

Photo credit: Wangki Tangni

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Isabel, a volunteer, at the radio station.
Isabel, a volunteer, at the radio station.

MADRE facilitated a two week training lead by a community radio expert from Oaxaca, Mexico. Many local women and youth who are interested in communications and radio programming participated, including women from our partner organization, Wangki Tangni. Local women also volunteer at the radio station to help with the trainings and workshops, including Isabel.

Isabel is a promotora (a women’s human rights defender) working with Wangki Tangni. Her mother has been a long time community Promotora as well. Isabel volunteers her time at the radio station to support the trainings, helping more women learn about their rights. "Well, for me it means a lot because I feel that I am supporting women, and I am very happy to be doing this work, because since I was 20 years old I have been working with these type of programs on how to support women, and I feel good and I know that I am supporting a woman when she is having a problem" - Isabel

The training focused on improving their skills for the radio programming. The women learned about delivering engaging radio broadcasts that include feminist and Indigenous perspectives and how to improve the quality and diversity of their radio programming content, thanks to supporters like you. They learned how to conduct interviews using the radio equipment.

During the two week training we also conducted a workshop with youth to help them identify what their priorities for radio messages are and what the most important messages are that they are trying to spread to their communities throughout the region.

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Organization Information

MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

Location: New York, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @madrespeaks
Project Leader:
Yifat Susskind
New York , NY United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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