Nicaraguan Communal Movement (NCM) is the oldest popular movement in the country, made up by residents in villages and neighborhoods in more than 100 (of 144) municipalities in the country. It was formed in 1978 in connection with the struggle against the Somoza dictatorship. In the 1980s, they were known as the CDS. They promote the organization and mobilization of communities in the struggle for better living standards, with an emphasis on gender equality, natural resources, political formation, health, and housing. As a national organization the level of organizational development differs, some groups are better organized than others.
The Matagalpa Communal Movement (MCM) is part of NCM and was founded in 1988. It covers 10 municipalities of Matagalpa Province. MCM struggles for water, electricity and civil rights, and has formed a network of volunteers involved in lobbying, training and mobilization. They develop and present political proposals and are influential in various arenas of popular participation. MCM has developed a strategy for women and gender equality, and have passed a resolution to ensure equal numbers of women and men in the organization’s leadership.
MCM has exchanged experiences and ideas related to political formation and public information with other organizations in the region, such as Equipo Maiz in El Salvador and Martin Luther King Centre in Cuba (both NPA partners).
Cooperation with Norwegian People’s Aid began in 2004, and the support includes training courses, information material, administration, and exchange programs.
Association of Women Producers (ASOMUPRO) is the result of a crisis in the National Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG). Part of the crisis was that women were not given space to participate and influence and decided to break out. The founding members and board of ASOMUPRO are all women peasant leaders with many years’ experience from UNAG. The process of establishing a new women farmers’ organization has been long, but it was formally established in 2009.
ASOMUPRO is both a women’s rights organization and an economic association for women. Areas of particular focus are violence against women, women’s land rights, health, food security, deforestation and climate change.
Cooperation with Norwegian People’s Aid began in 2010, and the support includes internal (e.g. democratic structures, internal communication) and external (e.g. alliances, policy proposals) aspects of organizational development, and awareness rising about violence against women.
Drinking Water and Sanitation Committees (CAPS) is a network of local village committees working to secure proper drinking water and sanitation. It was formally established as a network in 2005 and is organized both on municipal and national level. CAPS developed as a result of the incapacity of the State to meet the needs of the rural population, and a reaction against increasing privatization of water. The CAPS administer local water resource and foster local development, public health, and environmental protection.
They have had success with political advocacy; especially the national water law defines the state as the owner of all water resources in Nicaragua. No water can be privatized. The law also gives communities the right to manage the water sources they depend on. It recognizes CAPS as an important actor, and secures their participation in bodies and institutions, such as the government’s national water boards.
Youth for dialogue, founded in 2004, is a nationwide social movement involving 20 youth organizations and young people from four universities. They have created a democratic, inclusive space where young people can contribute to solutions to various social problems. The network has successfully convinced other organizations to develop and/or strengthen their youth work. The youth network continues to be a critical voice in the current political debate in Nicaragua.
Cooperation with Norwegian People’s Aid began in 2006 and support includes training courses and information material.
Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights (CENIDH) was founded in 1990 to promote and protect human rights in Nicaragua, with a particular focus on women and youth. CENIDH is an independent NGO with a network of volunteers that provide human rights training to local populations. It is widely recognized. It is part of the Latin American Human Rights Network and has alliances and cooperating partners around the world. Despite political polarization between organizations and the government, CENIDH has maintained a critical, independent role as a human rights organization.
Cooperation with Norwegian People’s Aid began in 1998. NPA provides advice and practical support to training courses and information activities, including a radio programme. See CENIDH's website for more information.
The network for women against violence (Red de Mujeres contra la violencia) was founded in 1992 to coordinate the country’s women movement. The network consists of 152 groups, associations, collectives, women’s houses, churches, trades unions, local groups and hundreds of individual members. The network cooperates with youth organizations, the communal movement, and others, to inform and influence public opinion on issues such as therapeutic abortion, gender-based violence, and legal protection for women. The network is represented in all counties in the country and is well renowned both nationally and internationally.
Cooperation with Norwegian People’s Aid began in 2006. The support includes training courses, information (materials and radio program) and administration. See their website for more information.