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Shelter Without Walls

Nicaragua

Problem

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.

“Once a woman is raped, she loses her name. People just call her ‘la violada’: the raped one.”
- Rose Cunningham, Indigenous leader and MADRE partner

Nicaragua "The Solution"

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.

Partner for Social Change

 

  • We offer lasting support to survivors of violence. When women and girls there are in trouble, 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 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 are creating a new way to reach women facing violence in isolated communities. We are launching the only women's rights radio in this region, which will broadcast in both Spanish and Miskito, the local Indigenous language. Over the airwaves, we will reach even the most isolated communities and broadcast information that could save their lives, like where to find shelter and how to contact our grassroots partner. MADRE has already provided 200 solar-powered radios to allow Indigenous women to listen to the radio programs in their own communities.
Advocate for Human Rights

 

  • We train women to compile evidence and document violence. We will 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. We are providing 10 digital cameras to gather legal evidence that can support cases of violence against Indigenous women and girls.  In their outreach, women also spark new conversations in their communities, including with men and boys, changing  perceptions about women's rights.
  • We work with local authorities to confront violence against women in their communities. We engage men, boys, traditional judges known as wihtas (mainly men), and religious leaders as allies to change behaviors and negative attitudes towards women and girls. They hear our radio broadcasts and are invited to community discussions about positive, non-violent models of manhood. Some of the wihtas have already committed to end trafficking of young girls. MADRE and Wangki Tangni are working together to hold them to that promise!
Communicadoras
Results
  • 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
Help women in conflict - Solar Radios

Your Support in Action

Earlier this year and with your support, Wangki Tangni launched their very own radio station. It's a vital lifeline of support to women who face violence alone in isolated communities.

Partner

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.

Issue

Rape used as a weapon of war. Domestic abuse used to enforce submission. Worldwide, women face violence that strips them of power and agency. It devastates those who are targeted and destroys the social fabric of families, communities and societies. But women are stepping up to stop it.

Press and Publications

How You Can Help