CENTRAL AMERICA – Nicaragua
Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. It is still recovering from decades of dictatorship, civil war and natural disasters. The Somoza family ruled Nicaragua with US backing for over 40 years. The 1979 Sandinista revolution brought great progress in land redistribution, health and education, but had little chance withstanding US imposed trade sanctions and the US-sponsored Contra’s counter-revolution.
Ten years of civil war left the economy and infrastructure in tatters. The Sandinistas lost the 1990 presidential elections and, though the advent of peace brought some economic growth, Nicaragua’s economy continued to struggle throughout the 1990s. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch left 3,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.
One in three women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. Many women and girls living in poverty are threatened with violence every day, at home, at school, at work, on the streets, and on public transport.
Violence against women is often considered acceptable, and offenders aren’t punished. This means there is nowhere that women and girls can truly feel safe or get help. Many agencies are helping women and girls to tackle tis violence and stand up for their rights. There is a growing demand for justice for survivors of violence and support programmes to empower women. Local community volunteers are being trained to stop female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, and tackle sexual and domestic violence and child abduction.
Prayers for El Salvador In the week beginning 18th September, the Christian Aid prayer diary asked us to pray for UNES, one of their partners in El Salvador. UNES alert communities when wave surges are coming so they can evacuate in time.
We pray for those who fear the power of mighty storms. Protect and shelter them – through warning systems, community volunteers and strong homes. Accompany those who need to feel your presence – in the terror of the storm, in the grief of the destruction, and in the struggle to rebuild. Amen