Empowering women to transform the economy

Juliana Galeano with her chickens

Leon, Nicaragua

Rural economic expansion

Expanding economic opportunities for women has been one of the main objectives in each of the programs that ViviendasLeón implements in our rural communities. A central component to achieve this is empowering women to see themselves as independent bread-winners in their community.

Our training program, HCT, promotes social inclusion while working toward a dissolution of the gender inequality that has negatively affected rural women for generations. The program is held in safe and inclusive spaces, employing training on human development, self reflection and group discussion to promote women’s empowerment, creating a social environment that is more equitable for their families and their communities.

Empowering women

“My name is Juliana Galeano. I live in the community of Troilo, in the Ceiba 1 neighborhood. I am currently participating in the training and empowerment program where I have learned a lot about issues that I didn’t know. It has helped me to rethink how to live our daily lives.”

On her own initiative, Juliana had already started several small businesses at home that contribute to her family’s income. Among these are a Tilapia fish farm, breeding of exotic birds, and breeding quail to sell. Once the HCT program is over, she hopes to also receive a family farm to produce fruits and vegetables and then market these in Leon.  Through farming, she will earn a living wage and her family will, for the first time in her life, rise above the poverty line.

Juliana adds: 

”What our parents taught us is mostly not useful today. Since ViviendasLeon arrived, we have a better vision of ourselves as women and members of our community. VL teaches us  about agricultural work, how to grow fruit and vegetables, and they have also taught us to have our own initiatives to work our way out of poverty. My thinking today is that a woman with self-esteem contributes to the social improvement of her family and community”

Empowered women and leaders of these initiatives continue to be trained on themes and strategies related to economic empowerment, gender equality and opportunity for women. In doing so, they come to recognize the value of their land and their natural resources; their power, community and neighbors as part of a system that supports them.