Women in Action and their children are going hungry. Current political unrest* in Nicaragua is having a detrimental effect on the economy--causing rising food and gas prices, temporary closings of stores and factories, and stoppages of construction projects. Members of WIA families have already lost their factory and construction jobs.
We trust that the Nicaraguan people will find a peaceful resolution to the current crisis. In the meantime, however, those who are affected most are people like WIA, who live day to day. Most WIA members work informally, selling items at traffic lights, at local markets or around neighborhoods. At the moment, they are lucky to sell enough to prepare one meal a day, much less make their monthly payment to the WIA micro lending bank. Public schools have been closed during the unrest, which means that children are not able to eat the "snacks" provided at school (cereal, rice/beans, etc). So children are going hungry!
And, with WIA members not able to cover their monthly payments, the WIA micro lending bank is now undercapitalized and at risk. The success of the bank over the years has literally meant the difference between poverty and economic self sufficiency for WIA members.
The political unrest has also resulted in the cancellation** of 3 service learning trips that planned to visit Compas de Nicaragua this summer. Service trip groups not only support our work with labor and material aid donations, but revenue from the trips account for over 60% of our budget. The cancellations will break the cash flow needed to cover our program costs as we go through the low donation months of summer and fall.
To make things worse, the rainy season has just begun. The service trip cancellations mean that we will not be able to construct the 4 homes we were planning to build with these visiting volunteer groups for the 4 WIA member most in need of a new roof during the rainy season.
We need to raise $5,000 for the micro lending bank and $2,000 to construct the 4 WIA houses. In addition, we are hoping to raise $2,500 for an emergency fund to be available for any WIA family in crisis, and $10,000 to offset the loss of income from the trip cancellations to help cover operating costs and our weekly programs such as soy food and health workshops.
Please help Compas and Women in Action survive this time of unrest. Please consider making a donation to Compas de Nicaragua.
*On April 16th, the Nicaragua government announced reforms to the Social Security System that sparked demonstrations that became violent, with 47 now dead. After five days of violence, the President rescinded the order, but protests continued. The government and the opposition agreed to begin a national dialogue. After 3 sessions, there was no consensus reached and therefore, the dialogue has been temporarily suspended. Three member committees for both the government and opposition have been formed to try and reach an agreement.
**The State Department has issued a level 3 travel advisory for Nicaragua. It is important to point out that tourist and volunteers have not and have never been targets of violence.