Projects in Nicaragua
Community Economic Development
A main approach of the Entrepreneurial Education Project is entrepreneurial education for the students of the secondary schools and institutes. Using participative methodologies, the Volunteers work with students so that they acquire knowledge and skills necessary to create and manage their own small businesses in the future. The intent of the project is that when these young people graduate they will have been prepared to create a micro-enterprise or to obtain productive employment. Another component of the project is the promotion of the use of technology to fortify business activities. The Volunteers in the sector also collaborate with existing small businesses with the purpose of improving their abilities in accounting, customer service, quality control, etc.
The primary responsibility of Volunteers in the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Project is to collaborate with and to support Nicaraguan English teachers to strengthen the quality of English education in public secondary schools. TEFL Volunteers and their Nicaraguan counterparts follow a team teaching model, co-planning, co-teaching, and co-evaluating lessons, with the goal of improving the linguistic and methodological capacities of local English teachers. TEFL Volunteers also organize and facilitate formal training activities for English teachers and work on developing materials to enhance teaching. And in addition to their work in schools, the Volunteers also offer English learning opportunities to community members through classes or conversation clubs, and work with youth and local groups on community projects.
Through the Environmental Education project, rural communities and primary school students learn how to protect and to conserve the local environment. The students apply their knowledge and abilities working in environmental activities such as managing vegetable gardens and community trash management, the preparation of organic fertilizer and reforestation projects. The students, their parents and the whole community work together to reduce deforestation, improve trash elimination, and increase the use of vegetable gardens, among other ecological activities. Another result of the efforts facilitated by the Volunteers is that ecological brigades, community associations of parents, teachers, and other organizations are strengthened and integrated into the environmental education process and the protection and handling of local natural resources.
Partnered with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, Volunteers are assigned to work in urban and rural communities to educate and motivate people to avoid communicable diseases, prevent unwanted pregnancies and improve health and nutrition for children under five years old through the promotion of improved health practices. Volunteers work with adolescents in and out of school, men, and women's groups, rural midwives, community health workers, key & vulnerable populations and health personnel with the purpose of increasing knowledge and improving healthy behaviors and practices. Working in approximately 250 communities, Volunteers focus their efforts on the prevention of teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and improvement of maternal-infant health through community health promotion and education.