What We Are Doing

Nicaraguan children ask for a fairer and equitable world in 2030 9 Jul 2015

By Ramon J. Meneses, Advocacy and Communication Coordinator, Save the Children in Nicaragua

More than 200 children ran or walked approximately four kilometers around Tiscapa Lagoon, with the slogan of “Zero preventable child deaths by 2030”, during the Race/Walkathon for Survival 2015 held on 5 July in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua.

These children come from our projects - the Luis Alfonso Velasquez Flores Children’s Movement (MILAVF), the National Movement of Adolescents and Youth (MNAJ) and other Save the Children partners. They were joined by adults from different national and international organizations that work for children’s rights.  

“For 2030, we want a fairer, more equitable world,” said the children from the platform where a brief ceremony was held before the race/walk started. “Don‘t leave anyone behind! We want equitable access to health, education and social protection. By 2030, we want all children to have a free and quality education.”

These slogans represented six of the main objectives of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda that children had presented in bilateral conversations to top government officials such as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Samuel Santos; the Minister of the Family, Marcia Ramirez; and the Ombudsperson for Children’s Rights, Martha Toruño.

The priorities were chosen by 1,080 children who participated in consultations held in 2014 in 10 Latin American countries, including Nicaragua: quality education, ending poverty, a healthy life, ending hunger, gender equality and living in peace, according to the child-friendly version of the Zero Draft document produced by the UN Open Working Group.

In both their lobbying meetings and their presentations in the media, children stated that the aim of the Race for Survival 2015 was to promote a commitment to the objectives and goals of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, which will be approved in September at the United Nations.

Speaking to the children before the race, National Assembly legislator Carlos Emilio Lopez said, “the Post-2015 goals aim to universalize all children’s rights, regardless of age, the geographical area where they were born, their ethnic identity or their economic condition. In other words, the rights should be inclusive.” Other officials that joined this event having been invited by the children were the Child Rights Ombudsperson Martha Toruño and Mendy Arauz, National Director of the Ministry of the Family, Adolescents and Children’s Amor (Love) Program, which is the government’s main social protection program.

Save the Children’s Program Quality Director, Luz María Sequeira, said that “eliminating preventable child deaths is possible, but there must be greater investment and planning to work on the issue.” She said that as a result of Save the Children’s work with the Ministry of Health and community health workers (brigadistas), infant mortality (among children under the age of one) in Matagalpa and Jinotega, where we work, dropped from 32 per 1,000 live births in 2006 to 22 per 1,000 live births in 2014.

At the national level, according to UNICEF, infant mortality fell from 50 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 21 per 1,000 live births in 2012. This means that Nicaragua will meet the commitment it acquired in relation to target 4 of the Millennium Development Goals.

This was the third time Nicaragua has participated in the Race for Survival, an event that Save the Children holds globally. In addition to addressing different issues of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the main characteristic this year was increased child participation, with the race being the culmination of a whole process in this respect. It was the children who decided on the kind of event they wanted, the place and the characteristics, and it was they who carried out the lobbying work and acted as spokespeople.