School and community support: the way to a better future
Over 300 children receive funding for their education from NPH or live in NPH student accommodation in Managua. The NPH Nicaragua centre was opened in 1994, the fourth country of nine where NPH works.
A new way of working
The original NPH programme in Nicaragua underwent radical change in 2020, when the Nicaraguan government took the decision nationwide to reintegrate the children and young people living in alternative residential care with family members.
As a result of this, from 2021 onwards NPH switched from traditional residential care to a model of family-based care.
We reassessed the family circumstances of every child so that we could support them in the context of NPH’s “OneFamily” reintegration programme. “OneFamily” currently supports 35 vulnerable children living in communities near the NPH centre. The children benefit from a range of measures, including schooling, healthcare, nutritious meals and family support.
NPH social workers visit the children at home and work with the whole family to reduce risks and strengthen the family. The goal is to create a nurturing environment for the children so that they reach their full potential.
School and vocational training
NPH Nicaragua has onsite kindergarten, primary and secondary schools for children up to the age of 17. Thanks to our collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the quality of our education is certified. Students working towards a technical career attend a high school in the local community.
Our vocational training programme is legally recognised by the Instituto Técnico INATEC (National Technical College). Older teenagers learn valuable skills and gain certificates in welding, electrical systems, sewing and shoemaking. Younger ones have the opportunity to take part in art and jewellery-making workshops.
More than just school lessons
As most of the children who go to school at NPH are affected by poverty, they receive wide-ranging support while at our centre:
- Nutritious meals and snacks
- Psycho-social support
- Uniforms and shoes
- Schoolbooks and equipment
- transport to and from school
Some children receive more comprehensive family support, including financial assistance. NPH staff visit them to provide advice to the parents, and give the children additional tuition and guidance on life skills.
NPH runs a programme called “Three Steps to Independence” for young people attending university. They live with family members or in rental accommodation and receive financial support and guidance from NPH. The students undertake a wide range of subjects including microbiology, social work, nursing, accounting and finance, environmental management and business administration. They also have the opportunity to find part-time work which helps them to become more responsible with their time and budgeting.
We produce our own food
An expansive greenhouse project, along with vegetable fields, help the children to learn about growing their own produce and also provides the kitchen with nutritious, fresh vegetables. Two additional properties also function as farms, providing pork, chicken and egg production and also a variety of vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, plantains, bananas, mangos, grapefruit and other citrus.
Physical and occupational therapy for the community
In 2010, a community service programme called the Good Samaritan began on Ometepe Island. Four NPH volunteer therapists from Austria began offering physical and occupational therapy for children with disabilities who had never received care. In 2012, the programme, which is run in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, expanded to the NPH Nicaragua family centre in Jinotepe. In 2021, an additional small facility opened in the community of San Jorge in Rivas. Since it began, the programme has supported over 130 children aged between 0 and 19 to lead a more independent life. Many children are also now in mainstream education.
NPH Nicaragua is led by Jader Rayo and over 120 dedicated staff.
Volunteers as an integral part of NPH
Volunteers are an integral part of NPH. Many of them are qualified therapists, who help children with cognitive and motor disabilities.
At NPH children come first, and that includes their right to protection against abuse. Child protection is the basis for family support at NPH.
Please report any concerns you have about child protection and we will take prompt action.
Find out more about our commitment to child protection.