Nicaragua Boaco Camoapa
$60,354 needed of $130,000
Nicaragua Boaco is a joint project supported by both World Renew and the Mennonite Central Committee with local partner ACJ. Located in the mountainous central region of Nicaragua, this program works with farmers to recognize challenges that arise from a changing climate due to trends in deforestation and identify farming techniques and crops that help them have more resilient livelihoods. Participants are learning about climate change risk analysis and adaptation planning. Water committees are being organized to ensure care of local water sources. Families are learning to prepare healthier meals that include vegetables grown from their own ‘kitchen gardens’. In addition, they are learning to preserve fruits and vegetables for later use. The program seeks to address gender inequities, reaching the most vulnerable, especially women and girls.
Working, Saving and Setting Goals as a Family
“People like us don’t save money because we have no money to save.” This was the first reaction that many people in the community had at the suggestion that a group of women join together to organize a Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA).
That’s definitely what Martha thought. Her husband, Denis, was involved in the program’s Farmer Field School, so she was eligible to join a VSLA. “We never had the habit of saving money, and figured it was a goal that would be very difficult to achieve. No one in the community ever had any money, and if they did, they, like us, spent it immediately.”
She started out slowly and soon got the hang of it. “In 2020 my husband and I set a goal of saving $200, but when the payout happened in January of 2021, we had exceeded our goal, and had $228.” She and Denis also took advantage of the low-interest loans offered by the group to cover expenses during the year.
The loans have helped Martha and Denis meet their family’s needs, manage the farm, improve their living conditions, and cover their children’s school expenses. The couple envisions starting a small family business with VSLA loans. They love the fact that they are instilling in their children a habit of saving. In fact, among the members of the seven savings groups there are not only 137 women and 70 men, but 23 girls and 22 boys between the ages of six and 14.
And a newfound family harmony is a welcome result. “When all’s said and done,” a grateful Martha says, “we overcame the barriers that prevented us from participating in these types of activities, we make all our decisions together, and now my husband now supports me in everything.”
Nicaragua Boaco Camoapa Program
Led by World Renew and Local Partner Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes de Nicaragua (ACJ)