POSTED March 28, 2019
How we’re helping create healthy homes in Nicaragua
A CCFC initiative is giving homeowners a safe space at home
By Enmanuel Castro, communications manager, Nicaragua
Gioconda, a community leader in the city of Estelí, is committed to creating a cleaner, safer space for family at home. She understands her efforts will prevent sickness and disease, and she’s not alone, thanks to our supporters.
The changes to the mother-of-two’s life and community began when she joined a women’s entrepreneurship program and learned how to earn income through the sale of ice cubes — common practice in Nicaragua.
She dreamed of creating a safe home for her children — an experience she didn’t have as a child. Yet, her marital home was made of old wood and had a dirt floor, leaving the family susceptible to unsanitary conditions.
When it rained, the house flooded. She recalls one experience: “My husband and I placed the children on a table, and we had to clean the mud [for hours],” she says.
Gioconda continued to save money selling ice cubes, hoping to one day create a better home. Eventually, she joined Christian Children’s Fund of Canada’s Healthy Houses initiative, where she learned about personal hygiene, water management and how to improve her home.
“I learned to throw garbage away, to recycle, to eliminate sewage, mosquitos and flies,” said Gioconda with a smile. “The community got involved in the initiative, and we participated in a contest for the cleanest neighbourhood (competing against 12 other regions). We joined forces and cleaned up the whole community.”
In the past three years, the Healthy-Houses initiative has benefited more than 300 families in 13 vulnerable neighbourhoods in north Nicaragua, providing coaching to more than 50 community leaders, like Gioconda, to train more families to create healthier, safer spaces.
Nine years later, Gioconda is still working as a CCFC volunteer. She listens to community problems and shares them with our local partner to find solutions.
Gioconda is grateful for donor support: “Only a person who has love in the heart can help someone in need. The donations really come where needed,” she affirms.
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