Managua. Authorities of the South Caribbean Coast Regional Government and Regional Council were visited by the Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Nicaragua, Iván Yerovi, who was accompanied by Ramón Canales, the coordinator of the Caribbean Coast Development Secretariat. The aim of the visit was to strengthen UNICEF cooperation with the comprehensive health care programmes for children in the region through the 2017 Annual Work Plan.
“The feedback on how you view UNICEF’s cooperation is important for us,” explained Yerovi during one of the meetings held with the technical team and South Caribbean Coast regional government authorities. “Our main intention is to be partners, and when that happens we accompany each other through good times and bad in order to push the work ahead. We are here precisely to share the progress of the Cooperation Programme, where we’re heading and to listen to your recommendations.”
“As the Regional Government, children are one of our priorities,” stressed Shayra Downs Morgan, Coordinator of the South Caribbean Coast Regional Government (GRACCS). “UNICEF’s support has not only been financial; they also provide support in institutional capacity building and knowledge management through technical assistance.”
A more in-depth look at the intercultural reality
The three-day visit included bilateral meetings with the Regional Council’s Executive Directorate, the Presidency’s delegate in the region, and the presidents of the education, health, women’s and disability commissions; meetings with academic authorities from the Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University (BICU) in order to learn about the Innovation Laboratory experience; and a working breakfast with the heads of the member institutions of the Interinstitutional Alliance against Violence towards Children, which implement the Injury Surveillance System component.
To allow a closer look at the region’s intercultural reality and expand experience sharing with the programme participants, the delegation went to the municipality of Laguna de Perlas (known as Pearl Lagoon in English). At the Mayor’s Office, they talked to Mayor Oswaldo Morales to learn about advances in the birth registration programme for children in the Pearl Lagoon basin. A meeting was also held with the health centre’s medical personnel to analyze the progress and challenges in the telehealth programme.
The visit to Laguna de Perlas also took in the “Biulah Light Burn” School in order to find out about the process of training for preschool teachers from different communities in this municipality on the subject of new masculinities and violence prevention in schools.
Training for entrepreneurial adolescents
Other activities included a meeting in Bluefields with local institutions involved in the training and follow up of entrepreneurial adolescents who successfully completed the course on building and plumbing with a climate change focus.
A visit was also made to the health centre in the Loma Fresca neighbourhood of Bluefields to learn about the implementation of the ToyContigo programme, which uses text messages to counsel pregnant women on both care and danger signs during pregnancy.
UNICEF’s role with local governments
“The accompaniment of this visit is recognition of UNICEF’s many years as an important partner in the fight against poverty,” stressed Ramón Canales (coordinator or director??). “UNICEF has been a facilitator of cooperation and there is an alignment with national demands and policies in each intervention. It is a partner that accompanies the component that is strategic for the regional governments, while the governments have also been efficient with the cooperation resources, which can only be achieved through commitment and a willingness to do right by the main actors.”
UNICEF’s cooperation aims to be efficient and effective in relation to the regional priorities. The Cooperation Programme 2013-2017 has provided USD 1.208 million to the South Caribbean Coast region.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
Olga Moraga, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Nicaragua email@example.com.