In Nicaragua, AMIGOS partners with Plan International in the Department of Boaco. Volunteers on this project will be collaborating with local youth to promote the rights of children and youth through art (drawing, painting, theatre, dance, music) or media. Volunteers participating in the media project will work with various multimedia, such as digital cameras, flip cameras, and laptops. While the research project is only happening in some of the media communities in the years 2009-2011, here I will discuss both the media and arts programs that will happen in all twenty six of our communities.
For more information, please refer to the AMIGOS website.
Our work with Plan Nicaragua
AMIGOS directly supports Plan’s effort to raise awareness about the rights of children and promote youth action in communities. AMIGOS Project Staff and Volunteers work to with local youth and community members to carry out the following activities:
I. Educational activities and youth fairs focused on the basic rights of children. One right is selected for each week of the project.
- Youth volunteers and youth counterparts are expected to hold activities with children five days a week, for about 2 hours a day. Of course, this is a minimum! Activities that youth might do with local children include puppet shows about the environment, photo essays about the oldest person in town, poetry readings about a field trip up the mountain, video-stories about local legends, or stop-motion animation projects on the life cycle of a locally-caught fish.
- Youth volunteers and youth counterparts are expected to lead their peers in youth-oriented activities. The activities might be similar to those above, and might also include larger projects, like hosting a fair, inter-community soccer games, media-enabled community histories, and community photo essays to be hung in local galleries or around town.
- The youth counterparts, youth participants, and youth volunteers FROM BOACO will be collaboratively selecting which children’s rights themes they think are most appropriate several months before the arrival of North American volunteers.
II. Community-based Initiatives (CBIs) Volunteers, Youth Counterparts, and Youth participants collaborate with their host community in the implementation of a small-scale community initiative (e.g. developing a sports equipment rental bank, improving a recreational sports area, or supporting a project that is a part of the local community`s long term development plans).
- Community Based Initiatives in Boaco will begin long before youth counterparts are selected and North American/Latin American volunteers arrive for briefing. In March, local youth will participate in a CBI training and begin to brainstorm and generate ideas for their CBIs. They will begin working with community leaders to fill out a solicitud and to plan community fundraisers to fund the CBI. When supervisors do their first visit to communities, before volunteers arrive, the youth will give them their solicitudes for their CBIs. By the time volunteers arrive, a CBI will be selected and the youth and vols should be about ready to think about buying materials. In some communities, this process might take a little bit longer, and the vols will have the opportunity to collaborate with the community on the planning of the CBI. However, this is not the standard in Boaco. Regardless of where the community is in the CBI when vols arrive, there will be lots to do, tons to be excited about, hundreds of ways to participate, rejoice, rework, envision and move towards CBI-success!
In Boaco, we have split the project into two subgroups. The third objective for each Volunteer will depend which theme they are a part of:
Youth and the Arts
IIIa. Arts practice (use of drawing, theatre, music, poetry, writing, etc). AMIGOS and local youth volunteers learn to use arts to address topics related to the basic rights of children.
Youth and Media
IIIb. Technology training (use of video, photography, etc). Following basic instruction, AMIGOS and local youth volunteers learn to use technology to address topics related to the basic rights of children.