We have been working hard for a month to get the Ministry of Children and Family (MIFAMILIA) on our side. Through a contact in Managua we have succeeded!
“A little luck, creativity and patience”
Nicaragua is a hierarchically and centrally governed country. Although the ministries in the ‘departments’ (regions) closely collaborate with the national ministries, the ministries in the department of Chontales have a way of quickly referring certain issues to the national ministries in the capital Managua. Our project was no exception! After we contacted the departmental Ministry of Children and Family to introduce our project and ask for guidelines that we would need to adhere to, the request was referred to the national level. No matter how formal the procedures here may be, in Nicaragua it is important to have the right contacts to get up the hierarchy. And that requires a little bit of luck, creativity and patience.
Visit from Managua
And so, from one day to the next, we, that is four members of the board of the project, suddenly found ourselves in a meeting with an advisor of the national Minister, a colleague and a ‘departmental’ representative. The visitors took their time to discuss our project in depth and we were gratified by the interest they showed in it. They acknowledged that the project was a novelty in Nicaragua. But there was also some concern that the impression was created that we would want to create a new ‘institution’ – which would go against the current policy of the Ministry.
The Ministry asked us to improve the wording and elaborate on certain sections of the project, and to resend the revised proposal to the Minister soon. So we have been busy this week elaborating on the secondary tasks of the project and describing those as part of the main task: the setting up of a community home. Our work will center around three core concepts: protection, stimulation and prevention. Besides the establishing of a community home (protection), we will give immediate thought to the starting up of daily activities for people of 15 years or over who have a learning disability (stimulation) and we will join in with activities aimed at the prevention of violence against and malnourishment of children with a disability and support to parents of children with a disability (prevention).
in collaboration with the Vivir Juntos Foundation.