Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua

by Save the Children Federation
Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua
Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua
Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua
Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua
Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua
Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua
Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua
Reduce Malnutrition for Children in Nicaragua
Community health worker in Nicaragua
Community health worker in Nicaragua

Community health workers are critically important to newborn and child survival in northern Nicaragua. For 75 percent of the population, poor roads and difficult terrain make it difficult to reach much-needed healthcare. Save the Children is working with communities to ensure the affordable solutions that save children’s lives are available even in the most remote areas.

We are training, equipping and supporting existing community health workers – brigadistas – to provide treatment for babies and young children.

In 35 communities, 360 brigadistas have already treated pneumonia, diarrhea and dysentery using simple tools – antibiotics, re-hydration solution and zinc tablets. We have also taught parents to recognize the signs of common childhood infections and how to seek help. This approach has been so successful that we are expanding it to 100 communities and are working with health agencies to include community-based care in the Nicaraguan child health strategy.

We plan to adapt and apply lessons learned in Nicaragua to programs in other Latin American countries. We know we cannot tackle this problem alone. As well as working with communities, we are collaborating with other organizations, governments and donors. By working together we will magnify our voice and our impact, and make saving children’s lives a shared global priority.


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Raul Pineda
Raul Pineda

We are pleased to share an interview with Raul Pineda, Save the Children's Sponsorship Manager in Central America.  Raul's work focuses on Save the Children's programs in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatamala, and El Salvador.

  • What do you like most about working for Save the Children?
    • Save the Children represents the ideas that I like to defend. I identify myself with Save the Children’s mission and vision and working with a team who has that same vision is really encouraging and inspiring.
  • What is your greatest work-related challenge?
    • To build a bridge of understanding among peoples of different backgrounds and conditions.
  • Your message to new donors:
    • It is incredible how a small contribution helps to create a huge solidarity chain where everyone is pulling into the right direction to fight and eradicate injustice around the world.
  • Anything else that you’d like donors to know about you?
    • There is always a natural drive within yourself that directs you to do the right thing. This feeling is indescribable and the satisfaction at the end of your journey is so huge that any sacrifice you make is really insignificant compared to the real retributions you get: the smiles from children and from their happy parents. I love doing this job.
  • Favorite Quote:
    • "El dolor por el dolor ajeno es una constancia de estar vivo..." “Feeling the pain of your neighbor’s pain proves that you are alive…” - Mario Benedetti


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Food Security and Income Generation for Families of Workers on Coffee Farms in the Departments of Jinotega and Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Save the Children’s project to reach children and families of Jinotega and Matagalpa Departments in Nicaragua completed its first year of operations at the end of May.

From October to February, families in our project area work as day laborers on coffee haciendas to earn cash. After that period, they dedicate themselves exclusively to the cultivation of basic grains for self-consumption, with a goal of storing food for the months of scarcity. Through this project, Save the Children provides families with technical assistance and improved grain storage to help them sell their new-found surplus and generate income, improving families’ overall health and livelihood.

Over the past year, poor families have been helped through: inputs and seeds for the planting of beans, maize and vegetables; metal silos for storing basic grains; inputs for establishing nurseries; materials for grain pre-dryers; micro-tunnels for the production of seedlings; materials for building stables for goats and chicken coops and 285 hens for the production of eggs. The above has helped 374 families store 266,105 kg (586,661 pounds) of basic grains by May.

Our nutritional education initiatives have benefited 330 families. Community board members and health brigade members were trained in 24 communities on improving food security, the nutritional value of local foods, and the commitment of participants to replicate these activities in their communities.

Another development in the project is the introduction of the PROCOSAN (Community Promotion and Vigilance of Children’s Growth) strategy. This strategy strengthens the role of the family, particularly empowering women to continually observe the growth and development of their children. During this period, we have also worked with community health workers that are directly involved in the PROCOSAN strategy and are using the nutritional education modules to train 320 families, including men, to raise awareness and support for children’s consumption of healthy, local foods.

Finally, the project is helping to organize families into cooperatives to strengthen their organizational capacity, promoting collective sales and group participation in business matching, market soundings and creation of value added. The associative strategy has already facilitated improved product commercialization for 56 families, generating a total income of 12,544 USD from the sale of beans and oranges in the first planting cycle.

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In Remote Nicaragua, Timely Treatment Helps Wilmer Survive Pneumonia-

When children in many remote mountain communities in Nicaragua face a health crisis, help is no longer hours away by foot or horseback.

With donors' support, Save the Children is training and equipping community health workers to deliver front-line care to children right in their homes. Our goal is to save more of the 24,000 children who die daily worldwide from preventable or treatable illnesses through simple, low-cost interventions.

Wilmer, 2, whose family lives far in the hills of Nicaragua, was one of the many children your support helps us reach. Because Save the Children trained Natividad, a local community health worker, and provided her with a kit of essential medicines and supplies, Wilmer was diagnosed and treated for pneumonia before his condition became life-threatening.

Wilmer had recurrent bouts of pneumonia. "The first time it happened I was very scared," said his mother, Maximina. "I thought he might die."

Maximina learned from Natividad how to recognize pneumonia's symptoms. When Wilmer began showing these danger signals she took him to Natividad's home.

Natividad gave Wilmer an antibiotic and instructed Maximina to provide regular doses for the next week. Natividad also urged Maxima to make sure Wilmer was well-fed, drinking liquid, and stayed warm and dry.

Wilmer started improving the next day and, when Natividad came to visit five days later, she was pleased to see how well he was recovering.

"I am very grateful for Natividad's help and to all those who support this health program," said Maximina.

Photo Caption: Maximina, left, listens to community health worker Natividad. Through Save the Children's training and supplies, Natividad is able to diagnose and treat pneumonia – the world's number-one killer of children.

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Families benefit from Save the Children's food security programs in Latin America. Green Mountain Coffee cares about the people growing their product. This is why they have partnered with Save the Children to help coffee-producing communities in Nicaragua.

Together we are funding nutritional and economic development programs in the Peñas Blancas region of North Central Nicaragua, an area that relies on coffee production.

The area surrounding Peñas Blancas is among the poorest in Nicaragua. In a region where many households live on less than a dollar per day and do not own livestock, families face severe seasonal food shortages, known as "los Meses Flacos" (the thin months).

Save the Children has worked in this region since 2006, and our new partnership with Green Mountain Coffee only adds to this effort bringing life-changing aid to villages and families who need our help the most. Our shared goal is to improve nutrition, strengthen food security and build economic opportunities for the region's farmers and their children.

Over a three-year period, we seek to reach 750 families within the villages of Tuma-La Dalia, Rancho Grande, Waslala and El Cua in the Matagalpa and Jinotega Departments (states). We will help communities increase food supplies by improving food storage systems and diversifying crops to include foods with higher nutritional values. Farmers also need assistance, which we will provide, to develop business plans for their harvest ultimately allowing them to sell more crops in the market. Similarly, we hope to advance women's involvement in the economic development of their communities, and to increase community participation in groups and business associations.

With these vital programs, Save the Children and Green Mountain Coffee are helping communities build a healthier, more sustainable future. Our food security efforts teach families ways to avoid food shortages and increase nutrition, while our development projects also create greater economic opportunities.

We are proud to partner with Green Mountain Coffee. Together, our commitment will create positive and lasting change for coffee farmers and their children.

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Organization Information

Save the Children Federation

Location: Fairfield, CT - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @savethechildren
Project Leader:
Megan McLain
Manager, Corporate Partnerships
Westport, CT United States

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Thanks to 29 donors like you, a total of $927 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. 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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