Camp CHACA (Chavalos a Caballeros, or Boys to Gentlemen) needs your help!
For the last 20 years, the world has made great advances on the issue of gender inequality through women’s empowerment programs. With a whole generation that has grown up with this mantra, we can see there has been progress, but sadly severe prejudice persists, evidenced by continuous domestic violence and gender discrimination in the workplace. The questions now are, “What is the problem? Why has it not worked like we wanted?”
Gender inequality has been addressed from the perspective that it is a women’s issue. Here with GAD Nicaragua, we host Camp GLOW to empower young women to confront the specific issues and challenges facing them as women in a culture of machismo. But this only addresses one side of the coin, one aspect of the greater issue.
It’s time to flip the coin.
While some would argue that gender equality is a humanity issue (and we agree) we would like to push it further and declare it as more of a men’s issue. It is one thing to say ‘women need to be empowered’ to the level of men, but the other side of that perspective is that men need to be humbled. In order for women to gain authority and power, someone has to cede it. When people are asked to relinquish power, those asked to share it fight back. While many might not fight directly, they still fight strongly by being indifferent or ignorant. While this concept seems to be obvious, only recently have movements begun to recognize the key role men play in promoting gender equality.
The best method of stopping inequality and violence is not reeducation—it’s prevention. This is where the solution comes in, to train the future generations that gender equality is the standard: Camp CHACA. This camp focuses on teaching youth boys the importance of gender equality. Choosing the best kids in 20 communities throughout Nicaragua, the boys gain information adapted from the Program H model (a curriculum promoting equality, domestic violence reduction, and positive communication skills in youth boys) to equip them with the skills to be positive role models, gender equality advocates, and change agents in their communities.
Following the success of the last year’s Camp CHACA, Peace Corps Nicaragua aims to continue a sustainable and interactive model with the nation’s young men. Camp CHACA will bring together adolescent men and past participants from across the country, including the coast, to encourage them to work towards creating a society that reflects gender equality.
Our Partnership Program grant is now live! The Partnership Program does not completely fund projects, but serves as a link to groups, foundations, service organizations, and individuals wanting to contribute to the valuable work Volunteers do with their host communities. In order to receive funding through the Partnership Program, a community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. This helps ensure community ownership, a greater chance of long-term sustainability, and ultimately, success.
Our communities have contributed, our boys are being selected and are beyond excited for the chance of a lifetime.
Now, we need your help to make it happen.
Click here to head to our donation page and help young Nicaraguan men learn to share power, give respect, and responsibly live in support and collaboration with the women in their lives.
Be a part of building a more gender equitable world.