The Self-Help International Nicaragua Training Center provides financially insecure families with hands-on technical training to increase family income. Demonstration plots allow rural farmers to discover ways to improve yields. Trained staff teach business and marketing skills through the women's micro-credit program. The center uses locally appropriate technology (drip irrigation, energy-efficient ovens) showing trainees how to affordably reduce their environmental impact and improve health.
Farmers have limited access to land and lack the knowledge and resources to increase yields. This leaves families struggling to maintain a steady income and feed their loved ones. Impoverished women know that they can increase their family income by starting up small businesses, but don't have collateral to get private loans. Few women have any formal education or business training in marketing or records keeping that are necessary to start up and run a successful business.
At the center, trainees learn about micro-financing options and gain general farming, accounting, and business knowledge in order to start a rural or urban business, or improve an existing one. Farmers learn improved methods to increase yields, and how to dry and store grain to reduce post-harvest loss. Women learn about family healthcare and discover ways to increase family income by adding value to their homegrown produce. Trainees learn how to use appropriate, affordable technology.
Self-Help International will reach thousands of trainees with the educational programming. The participants will be able to use their education to become self-sustaining, and see improvement in their quality of life. Family healthcare education coupled with increased income leads to preventative care and in turn, healthier children and a more productive workforce. Sustainable farming and energy efficient technology education will decrease deforestation and have positive environmental impacts.