Home > CtC worldwide > Americas > Nicaragua > CISAS
Organisation: CISAS - Centro de Informacion y Servicios de Asesoria en Salud
Address: Apartado #3267, Managua
Tel: +505 266 3690
Fax: +505 266 2237
Contact : The Director
Child-to-Child activities began in Nicaragua in 1981, with a series of workshops sponsored by the Regional Committee for the Promotion of Community Health. When CISAS was established in 1983 we began promoting Child-to-Child as an integral part of our health education and promotion work. It has continued to be a pillar of our work for 20 years. Presently, our CtC activities are implemented in the community through local organising with children, young people and interested adults. Some activities are school based, but the work is primarily community based, given that many children are not in the classroom. We have promoted the methodology of CtC with many other organisations as well. These include other NGOs in Nicaragua who work with children and youth, especially through the coordinating body of these groups. We also have worked with church and community organisations and with schools when requested. In the 1980s, we worked extensively with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health on CtC methodology. With the change in government in 1990 and since then, there is little coordination between NGOs and the government. (In fact, they are hostile toward NGOs.) Therefore our intentions to continue to develop school-based CtC was frustrated. Funding has been provided by various organisations over the years: Redd Barna – Norway; Save the Children Canada; Save the Children UK; Radda Barnen – Sweden; Bernard van Leer Foundation – Holland; Medicus Mundi Navarra – Spain; CID-CIIR – UK. We have institutional funding from other donors which supports CtC activities as well. The CtC methodology is fundamental to all our community work as children and adolescents are our priority in the community. We collaborate with other national and international organisations, especially through training in the methodology of CtC and the evaluation methodology we have developed.
CISAS works with the poor and marginalized communities in both urban and rural settings. As of December 31, 2000, we had 2,123 promoters, 11,023 direct beneficiaries (boys and girls, women and men) and 34,245 indirect beneficiaries (boys and girls, women and men) working with our programme. We attempt to maintain gender balance in all of our work. The participating children include street children, working children and children with special needs. The adult workers are educators from CISAS staff, community health promoters, community education promoters, youth leaders and teachers (in some areas).
The CtC programme aims to promote comprehensive actions based on the family, the community and the coordination of social actors as a strategy for the human development of children in the partner (beneficiary) communities. This work includes a focus on gender issues, inclusive education and the promotion of children's rights.
Methodology and Children's Participation
.Children are encouraged to think about, and act upon, their health and their lives in their families and communities. This is the basis of the participatory education we are applying in our work. We use a four-step approach: recognize; study; act and evaluate. This is our general methodology. We aim to develop a number of key skills and attributes in children: Because the programme is community based, the parents are involved in supporting the activities of their children. Mothers, fathers and community leaders are more aware of children's rights and abilities.
Health and Education Working Together
Health and education specialists are involved, including CISAS staff and other groups with whom we work. However, this does NOT refer to official relationships with the Ministries of Health and Education. As stated earlier, these relationships are frustrated or prohibited by current attitudes of the government towards NGOs. If work is to be done, it is at the local level. This depends on the local situation.
Monitoring and Evaluation
CISAS has developed a methodology for evaluating CtC. This material is available in Spanish. From our evaluations, we have noted a number of changes, for example, in the personal development of the children and adolescents in particular. The promoters recognise that they have achieved greater self-confidence and increased their self-esteem, their knowledge of their rights and their respect for others. Increased knowledge is an important result in the lives of those involved. This mainly revolves around issues of sexual and reproductive health, women's health, participatory techniques for the organisation of community activities, the elaboration of small projects and the involvement of families in the activities. In all of the communities the promoters have acquired the capacity to assimilate and reflect on the problem of drugs and the prevention of illnesses such as malaria, dengue, STDs and HIV and AIDS. In most cases the women have come to value themselves, have better relations with their children and have helped reduce the levels of physical and psychological ill treatment.
Children, adolescents, adults, health workers, teachers and members of partner organisations all receive training. CISAS staff and community promoters and former CtC participants who are now involved in youth activities, provide training. CtC is an integral part of our methodology and therefore our training events. Themes include basic issues in primary health care, disaster prevention and mitigation, sexuality, sexual and reproductive rights and responsibilities, HIV and AIDS and psychosocial aspects of health, etc. We are working in a severe disaster-prone area, so there is an emphasis on these issues now.
We use the basic materials available from CtC which are found in the CISAS documentation centre. These are generally in English and have limited use. We have also produced many materials in Spanish:
1. Hablemos de Sexo
3. Derechos Reproductivos y Sexuales de las Mujeres
4. Estrategia de Trabajo con grupos de Mujeres
5. Planificacion Familiar para Adolescentes
6. Folleto 'Enfermedades de Transmision Sexual'
7. Memoria Taller: 'Cursillo sobre Sexo, Sexualidad y Genero'
8. Guia de Servicio sobre VIH/SIDA en Nicaragua
9. Revista infantil La Bulla
10. Memorias de los Encuenros Nacionales Nino-a-Nino
11. Guia Metodologica 'Aprendiendo a vivir sin violencia'
12. Guia de Actividades 'Ninas y Ninos o los roles aprendidos
13. Elaboracion de titeres de guante y montaje de pequenas obras 14. Guia Pasos Metodologicos Nino-a-Nino
15. Memorias de los Encuentros Nacionales de Adolescentes
16. Revista Juvenil La Chavalada
17. Libro 'El Derecho a la Salud y el deber de mantenerla
18. Revista con CISAS
19. Boletin informativo SIDALDIA – Nicaragua
20. Promovamos la salud a traves de los titeres: Guia de Actividades #2
21. Hagamos realidad neustros suenos 'Pasos para hacer un Proyecto'
22. La Salud y los Ajustes Estructurales en Nicaragua
23. Hablemos de Planificacion Familiar
24. Vivamos felices sin Enfermedades de transmision sexual
25. Agenda Anual
26. Videos about CtC in Nicaragua
27. TV spots