SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua).

Estelí is a city and municipality, and the Estelí department is located in the north-western part of Nicaragua. It is Nicaragua’s third largest city with a population of 90,294. It lies on the Pan-American Highway that links almost all the countries of the American continent. The city of Estelí is the centre of Nicaragua’s cigar economy and home to world-renowned cigar brands. Violence against women and girls is commonplace in Nicaragua. Almost 40% of women experienced violence at the hands of their partner or ex-partner. Another challenge for Nicaragua is child sexual abuse.

Since 1973, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Estelí.

Of victims of sexual abuse are children

Sexual abuse puts children at risk

Nicaragua has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Latin America. According to the United Nations, 28% of women have had a child before they were 18. Victims of sexual abuse or rape are often forced to leave home or, worse, live with the perpetrator. Many are rejected when they try to talk about what happened to them, because sex is still a taboo subject or the perpetrator is a relative. Victims of rape and sexual abuse often receive insufficient attention from police, prosecutors and judges.

Of children under 5 suffer from stunting

Children are malnourished

Children under the age of five who are chronically malnourished do not have the food they need to support their cognitive and neurological development. This has irreversible and lasting effects on children's health. Malnutrition is strongly related to social inequality. Children who grow up in families facing financial hardship are the hardest hit. In addition, indigenous children living in rural areas are twice as likely to be stunted as non-indigenous children.

Your support makes a difference for children in Estelí

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children enjoy drawing pictures. SOS Children's Villages supports families in providing an environment where their children can develop and flourish (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua).

How your support helps in Estelí

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.