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Shelter Without Walls



In Indigenous communities on the North Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, women and girls confront poverty, discrimination and high levels of abuse. This violence is aggravated by drug and human trafficking, and perpetrators are rarely prosecuted. Women and girls survivors of violence in isolated communities need to travel many days by boat or on foot to reach a shelter and a court.

Nicaragua "The Solution"


MADRE partners with a local Indigenous women’s organization called Wangki Tangni. Together with you, we transform communities into Shelters Without Walls, where women are safe from violence, no matter what.

Woman leading a boat along the river


We maintain channels to reach women facing violence in isolated communities. We fund the only women's rights radio in this region, which broadcasts in both Spanish and Miskito, the local Indigenous language. Over the airwaves, we reach even the most remote communities. We broadcast information that could save their lives, like where to find shelter and how to contact our local partner organization.

We offer lasting support to survivors of violence. When women and girls are in danger, they turn first to Wangki Tangni. Through our programs, women receive emergency care and counseling. And they find a community of support and empowerment.

We support women’s efforts to sustain themselves and their families. We provide women with the resources to purchase seeds and raise crops to feed their families and to sell the products at local markets. This work boosts women’s economic autonomy, giving them the means to escape abuse and to step up as leaders against gender violence in their communities.

We provide opportunities for leadership building. Our grants help our grassroots partners offer women's rights training to local community members and leaders. These workshops help to mobilize allies in the community committed to prevent gender violence.

Woman speaking into the microphone during a radio broadcast

Organizational Strengthening

We give women a safe space to connect and organize. We organize women's gatherings, meetings and marches, where women from far-flung rural communities come together, build activist connections and demand their rights.

We train women to compile evidence and document violence. We train women leaders, a network of human rights promoters, and judges to document, report and prosecute cases of violence against women and girls that can be brought to justice. In their outreach, women also spark new conversations in their communities, including with men and boys, changing perceptions about women's rights.

We create networks to strengthen Indigenous women’s talents. We connect local partners who operate our human rights radio station with experts from across the region. We sent 3 key radio leaders from the community to Oaxaca, Mexico to learn from experienced Indigenous communications leaders who use radio to increase political participation in their communities. The women came away with more skills to produce radio and create impactful narratives.

Woman holding up a sign

Legal Advocacy

We advocate for an end to gender violence. We map out the legal and community support systems that survivors have available to them and offer workshops and materials to educate women about these resources. Women in 115 communities have benefited from this information, giving them vital knowledge around how to access existing laws and services.

We uplift the voices of women at the margins. Rural Indigenous women from these 115 communities come together every year at the annual Indigenous Women’s Forum. There, they not only share their experiences and community organizing strategies. They also meet with and advocate before local government leaders to secure their commitments to fight gender violence.

"Her husband listened to the show and realized she had rights too, that she had the right to leave the house and meet with other women."

- Vilma Washington, Indigenous leader, MADRE partner at Wangki Tangni, and presenter on our human rights radio station

In the News: Read more from "Radio aimed at Nicaragua's Miskito women takes on violence, trafficking," Thomson Reuters Foundation

  • Women and girls know their rights and have access to medical and legal services.
  • Men and boys are educated about women’s human rights and about their role in ending violence.
  • Local authorities are held accountable to take concrete steps to protect women and girls.
  • Women gain the tools, skills and activist networks to create communities free from violence.


Otilia Nicaragua Forum

Your Support in Action

We work with Wangki Tangni, our local partner in Nicaragua, to end violence against women and advance women’s rights. On our most recent trip, we witnessed the amazing work of community leaders and activists.


Wangki Tangni is a community development organization run by and for Indigenous women on Nicaragua's North Atlantic coast. They work to demand an end to violence and promote women's rights.


Together with our partners, we help women to heal from abuse and become powerful advocates for every woman’s right to a life free of violence. We build clinics and counseling centers. We equip women with tools to prevent sexual assault in war and disaster. And every day, we affirm that gender violence doesn’t have to be a fact of life.

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