Children and carers have returned to their home at the SOS village community in Nicaragua, a month after it was evacuated due to violent unrest in the region.
The decision to return came after representatives of the government and demonstrators – working in collaboration with local religious leaders, agreed to remove barricades located near the SOS village community in Juigalpa.
SOS Children’s Villages conducted a security assessment which confirmed the situation was stable enough for families to return. Despite ongoing tensions in the country, the area near the SOS village community is calm and the children have expressed joy at returning home.
Violent demonstrations in the vicinity forced the evacuation of 38 children and their carers from the SOS village community on June 28. The children were moved to a secure location in the city centre, which was unaffected by the violence.
Benito Rivas, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua said: “We are relieved and happy to see the children play and resume their normal life with their brothers, sisters and caregivers at home.
“Even though the socio-political situation in Nicaragua remains difficult, we are working to ensure that every child is prepared for any new challenge that may arise in the future. The children and young people remain our priority. Their safe return home demonstrates our ability to respond to any situation that may threaten their safety.”
Nicaragua has been experiencing civil unrest since mid-April. The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights reports that at least 212 people have been killed in the protests, which began as a movement against pension reforms but grew into wider calls for President Daniel Ortega to resign.
SOS Children’s Villages Nicaragua has launched a humanitarian appeal to address the psychological, health and humanitarian needs of the children in their care as well as provide support for families in the community. The current unrest has left many already vulnerable families in the region in social and economic distress.
SOS Children’s Villages has been working in Nicaragua since the early 1970s to:
- Support at-risk families and reduce the incidence of family breakdown, child abandonment and neglect
- Provide a safe, family upbringing to unsupported children in the region
- Ensure disadvantaged children have access to a quality education at SOS primary and secondary schools
- Offer vocational training and support to young people and enable them to live independently
You can donate to the SOS Children’s Villages UK emergency fund here.
For media enquiries please contact Lucy Prioli at Lucy.Prioli@sosuk.org or on 01223 222 974.