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More than 20 years of experience working with children’s rights

Children’s Association "Tuktan Sirpi" originated in 1994, when the Social Mobilization Foundation founded the "Laboring Kids Club Project". Its aim was to help improve the lives of children and adolescents in the city of Jinotega, especially those coming from slums, providing opportunities for integral education to over 450 children and adolescents working to survive and to help their families. One year later, in the municipality of Yali, a project arose called Adolescents Club, which had similar characteristics to the project in Jinotega, but was more directed to recreation and job training for adolescents.



Main stages of development of the organization

Since the initial years, the association has grown in quality and professionalism concerning our work with children and adolescents. So have the number of services and actions we undertook.

In 1996 we became independent from the Social Mobilization Foundation, because the foundation was not complying with the agreements referred to in the initial project. Furthermore, our commitment was extending beyond this organization. Thus, on September 30, 1996, we founded the Children's Association "Tuktan Sirpi" as a non-profit organization. Tuktan Sirpi means "little boy" in Miskito, the language of the Indians in Nicaragua. However, although much time has passed, the population continues to identify us as “Club Infantil” in Jinotega and “Club NATRAS” (in Yalí).

The Beginning

The first years (1996-1999) were a time of consolidation within the Association. At this early stage, we worked in a ‘cyclical’ way, meaning we focused on the immediate needs of children and adolescents in Jinotega. We organized many recreational activities aimed at working children and adolescents. At the same time, we often did not take into account who was in charge, weather it were the state or the families. So we ended up substituting both in their responsibility.

We then recognized that we were guided by merely welfare criteria. During that period, we didn'tneglect our own abilities as a working group and began developing what are now our professional skills, and thus differentiate us from other organizations doing similar activities.

In organizational terms (personal and financial resources), we have grown quickly after hurricane Mitch (1998). The disastrous situation encouraged other international organizations to support us in areas such as mental health, integrate laboring children into schools, reintegrate the families of laboring children in the society.



Time of Reflexion

In 2000, we decided to take some time for reflection about our work and our goals. We then started to make our first strategic plan, which concluded in 2001 and included our first vision and mission. This strategic plan also contributed to a great personal and professional development.

The new policy led us to reconsider our role in the societies of Jinotega and Yalí. The outstanding feature of this period in our history was to set aside the welfare approach. The new strategy thus included a more integral approach in working with employed children (child labour), adolescents and their families. Furthermore, we took the first steps in developing partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations working in the field child labour. Additionally, we made better use of the participatory events organized by the Municipality or even on a national level. In this way, we were given the chance to influence government policies.

From 2001-2007, we once again changed our way of thinking and thus our strategic actions. This  involved a personal change in the mindset of every staff member, because we initiated an experience based process in which we used our own childhood-experiences as a starting point. This allowed us to build an intervention methodology that provides better attention to, and relationships with, the children and adolescents with whom we work, as part of our own families. Moreover, we have gained recognition from institutions at the departmental level.We constitute an important player with respect to debates and decision making on the issue of child labour, especially in the municipalities of Jinotega and Yalí.



“Paso Atrás”: To promote true participation of children and adolescents

From 2008 until 2013, we implemented significant changes within our organization.  The changes included reorganization with systemic focus of our structure which allowed a better coordination between Jinotega and Yalí.  Moreover, we implemented the strategic and methodological principle of "salir de las casas" (leaving the houses) which resulted in the idea of " Movi-Kids Club", which means  more presence in neighborhoods, schools and markets. The reorganization also included the implementation of the game as strategy in our work.  We also faciliated our staff members to "take a step back" in the accompanying of children and adolescents on their participative activities, and advocacy of children’s rights.

These changes involved major challenges, both individually and for the organization, in terms of professional development, project management and financial resources. To address the new challenges, we implemented internal staff training and enhancements in the management of financial resources. In this period, the progress in managing organizational changes in Radio Estéreo Libre was significant, which every day is further embedded in the strategic work of the Tuktan Sirpi.



Contacts

Lydia Palacios

Executive Director:
E-mail: direccionejecutiva@tuktansirpi.org
Skype: lydia.palacios.chiong

Phones:
(505) 2782-3435 Central Office
(505) 2785-3045 Yalí
(505) 2782-2052 Radio Estéreo Libre
Address:
From Rossy Shop half block west (Central Office)
Jinotega, Nicaragua


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