In partnership with two local organizations, Episcopal Relief & Development is empowering communities to build climate resilience by increasing sustainable agriculture practices and increasing access to clean water.
Together with the Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD), we work with local farmers to increase the diversity of their crops and produce natural fertilizers and pesticides that protect the land and water from pollution. The agro-ecological techniques applied through the program increase food production and reduce soil degradation. Planting trees and constructing land ridges and ditches also improves soil quality and reduces erosion, and constructing micro-dams to harvest rainwater enables production during dry seasons. Participants share their knowledge with others and promote sustainable practices with their neighbors. The program supports women to plant kitchen gardens which help diversify household diets. CEPAD also supports a growing number of farmers on plantain production, from trainings on cultivation to guaranteeing their loans through a partnership with a regional cooperative bank. As of 2020, 41 farmers have harvested over 1,470,000 plantain trees.
CEPAD also promotes water harvesting techniques for farmers. Some areas in Nicaragua, such as San Francisco Libre, are experiencing erratic rainfall and periods of drought. CEPAD is equipping farmers with the skills and materials to construct micro dams to manage water levels for crops and the community. CEPAD is focusing its efforts on the strengthening of community development committees and the formation of farmer cooperatives in the 13 communities that will be able to build on the success of the past five years.
We also work through our partner El Porvenir to increase access to clean water and reduce waterborne disease. Communities organize water committees and engage residents in constructing and maintaining water systems, with materials and training as needed from El Porvenir. Wells, latrines and handwashing stations are installed at schools and residential areas, with health and hygiene education to promote their use. Digging wells near clusters of homes prevents disease and saves time, effort and risk for women and girls, who are most often responsible for fetching water. El Porvenir also works with communities to plant and maintain trees to protect watersheds
With support from Episcopal Relief & Development, El Porvenir continues to work with isolated communities on holistic Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programming. El Porvenir is finalizing plans to expand the programs to new geographic areas throughout the country.
The Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD) is leveraging their existing relationships in 40 remote and underserved communities to respond to COVID-19. CEPAD is producing weekly radio programs and promotional clips to educate communities about prevention and response efforts. The council is also providing pastoral and psychological care to vulnerable populations through phone calls and physically-distanced home visits. CEPAD is distributing health and hygiene kits, water filters and seed packets to physically support these communities. To keep staff and community members safe, CEPAD has educated staff during virtual workshops about the WHO and Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 safety guidelines and has instituted appropriate physical distancing protocols.
Our work with Women focuses on helping communities promote the rights of women and children and move toward the vision that everyone deserves a life free from violence in a society where they are treated with dignity and respect. Only then can communities truly heal and thrive.
Our work with Children supports and protects kids under six so they reach appropriate health
and developmental milestones. This focus on early development is foundational and critical to helping children achieve their full potential as future contributing members of their communities.
Our Climate-related work focuses on how families and communities can work together to adapt to the effects of rapidly changing weather patterns. This work includes preparing for and recovering from climate-influenced events such as floods, hurricanes and other disasters.
Water is essential for life. But the quality of the world’s fresh water resources is threatened by improper sanitation, agricultural runoff and lack of treatment facilities, as well as disasters and environmental changes. Every 15 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease. Read more about Clean Water.Read more about Clean Water
Almost one billion people are affected by chronic hunger and poverty worldwide. Malnutrition or lack of access to food can jeopardize overall productivity, health and well-being. Read more about Agriculture.Read more about Agriculture
Worldwide, an estimated 2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. Proper sanitation and hygiene education can prevent the spread of disease ― saving lives and protecting communities. Read more about Sanitation & Hygiene.Read more about Sanitation & Hygiene
Our micro-finance programs emphasize involving both women and men, which can be very effective in promoting gender awareness and empowering women. When women become breadwinners, they increase their role in household decision-making, which often enhances the whole family’s well-being. Read more about Micro-finance.Read more about Micro-finance
Gender equality, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response are cross-cutting themes that shape and inform all of Episcopal Relief & Development’s integrated programs worldwide. In order to sustainably and equitably address hunger, poverty, disease and post-disaster relief and recovery, local attitudes and customs around gender, power and gender-based violence must also be taken into account.Read more about Gender Equality & GBV