Since 1980, Save the Children has worked to improve the lives of Nicaraguan children and families living in poverty. After the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in 1998, we concentrated our efforts in the heavily affected departments of Chinandega and Leon.
Successes- Food Security: PROCENI (a Development Assistance Program) continued to show positive results. A final evaluation indicated a dramatic reduction of chronic malnutrition in children under age 5 from 22.5 percent (2002) to 9.6 percent (2008). The main emphasis in 2008 was on providing opportunities to groups of women, especially in organization, food availability and commercialization, and helping families serve as development models in their communities. Food availability increased 13 percent above target and the number of families that improved grain storage was 28 percent above goal.
Irrigation: PROCENI surpassed its irrigated cropland acres goal by 11 percent. By the end of the program, 615 families had improved production levels by introducing irrigation in 158 acres. A guide for establishing and managing irrigation systems was developed.
Micro-enterprise: The owners (16 families) of two successful micro-businesses, one in vegetable production and another producing seedlings, were trained in administration and accounting for small business. Both businesses established ties with their local and regional markets and now belong to vegetable affiliations formed in 2008.
Future Plans- Livelihoods: Top priorities include strengthening food production among low-income families, including mechanisms that allow them to obtain seeds and increase production time; helping families be more competitive in local markets; creating business plans that enable women to increase their income and establish savings; and strengthening agro-business capacity among women so that they can develop businesses and savings plans.
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