The threat of a good idea

CEPAD (Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua), was founded in 1972, just days after a strong earthquake destroyed the capital of Nicaragua, to help the victims of the earthquake. Now, over 40 years on, whilst the needs have changed over the decades, CEPAD continues to be one of the strongest organisations working for the development of rural communities across the country.

Their model is one of accompaniment and empowerment – enabling communities and individuals to use their talents and abilities to be the principal leaders in their own development – teaching, training and giving people the tools they need to sustain themselves and their families.

Working with communities for five-year cycles, CEPAD programmes focus on agricultural development, leadership training and education — ensuring the needs and existing resources of each community drive the projects and create the strategies needed to ensure their long-term success. This successful model has so far empowered over 4,000 communities in achieving economic stability, food security and family leadership.

CEPAD currently runs eight programmes: sustainable community organisation, food security and environmental protection, strengthening families, pastoral leadership training, primary and secondary education, a radio station, international partnerships and solidarity and support for refugees.

For the next five years, Amos Trust will partner with CEPAD to empower seven communities in Teustepe with the skills, knowledge, resources and community resilience required to change their futures, claim their rights, overcome poverty and thrive – with programmes focusing on education, training and empowering women.

You can read a story about CEPAD’s work here.

Gilberto Aguirre from CEPAD in Nicaragua tells the story of the Mama Chicken and the Elephant — a metaphor for how the relationship between international development and small grass-roots organisations can sometimes be problematic.

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