Nicaragua

SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua)

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Its population of 6,734,000 is mainly mestizo (mixed European and Indian ancestry). The country’s capital and largest city Managua is also the second largest city in Central America. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Latin America. According to the United Nations, 48% of the population live below the poverty line. Nicaragua’s geographical location makes it attractive to organized crime and human trafficking.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it in Nicaragua since 1972.

Children are at risk

Almost one-third of Nicaragua's population are children under the age of fifteen. Many of these children have lost their parents, or are at risk of losing them, and therefore have to fend for themselves. In addition, many families lack access to clean drinking water and sanitation, which increases the risk of chronic diseases. Because many families live below the poverty line, many children suffer from malnutrition.
17%
Of children under 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition

Food insecurity

Nicaragua is highly dependent on agriculture, which is the main source of income for 90% of the rural population. Farmers along the Central American arid corridor struggle to sustain their crops because of droughts and heavy rains. Rural and indigenous communities have high rates of malnutrition and maternal and infant mortality. Those living below the poverty line are particularly vulnerable to seasonal hunger and food shortages. Climate change is making the situation worse by climate change for families who depend on farming.

70%
Of the rural population is poor

Poverty and education

Nicaragua has a high school dropout and child labour rate, which is a result of poverty. Families cannot afford to buy school materials for their children and are also dependent on their children's labour to secure the family income. However, the fact that children have to give up on their schooling to secure income makes it difficult for them to escape the vicious circle of poverty.

35%
Of women were married before 18

Child marriage

According to UNICEF research, child marriages mostly occur in rural areas, especially in poor households. Most child brides are not formally married, but live with a partner. However, child marriage does not exclusively affect girls. 19% of boys in Nicaragua were married before the age of 18. In addition to the fact that many children are married to improve the family income, another reason for early marriage is teenage pregnancies due to lack of access to contraception.

Together we can make a difference for children in Nicaragua

1,120
Families
Can stay together
4,160
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
2,870
Children
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
90
Children
Grow up in our care
50
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
110
Emergency services
Were possible
Two brothers playing football outside in the garden. Children growing up in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua).

Working together for sustainable development

In 2015, leaders from 193 countries committed to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15 year plan aims to improve the lives of people by ending poverty, fighting inequality and protecting the planet.
GOAL 1: End poverty
SOS Children’s Villages supports families and communities to keep families together and to help them break out of the cycle of poverty.
GOAL 4: Ensure quality education for all
Every child and young person SOS Children’s Villages supports has access to education, from kindergarten right up to vocational training or university.
GOAL 8: Equal job opportunities for all
SOS Children’s Villages supports young people in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to find decent work and trains parents so that they can have a stable income.
GOAL 10: Reduce inequalities
SOS Children’s Villages works to keep children safe, by promoting peaceful and inclusive communities. We provide training on children’s rights and positive parenting. .
GOAL 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies
We advocate laws and practices that ensure social inclusion and protection for children and young people without parental care or from marginalized households.

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives