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Legal, Psychological and Social Counselling for Children and Women

Internship and Volunteering Possible
We organise internships and volunteering with several organizations in Leon, that help women and children/adolescents with legal, social and psychological advice and support, as well as carry out prevention programs in the areas of human and women's rights.

Project Details

CECAMO is an association which deals mainly with women who are victims of domestic and sexual violence (also children and young people in similar plights). The center offers social work, counseling and legal process accompaniments, home visits, psychological care and support of victims.
There are also regular projects such as educational seminars or research on topics such as human and women's rights.
Objectives of CECAMO include the defending of and education and raising awareness on human rights, with a focus on women's and children's rights; they provide direct assistance to the victims, advocate prevention of mental and physical violence in Nicaragua, as well as the strengthening of the community.
In CECAMO, there for internships and volunteering opportunities with the following activity options:
* Participation in discussions with women by social workers, psychologists and lawyers in the Women's Counselling Centre, home visits, court hearings and meetings
* Help in initial discussions with clients
* Documentation and administration
* Preparation of documents, workshops and awareness campaigns for human rights
* In case of special knowledge, your own projects/activities can be implemented
An internship or volunteering opportunity is also available for male participants. When the Nicaraguan men see other men working at CECAMO, there is a lower hurdle for them, and they feel freer to come along with their wives or to contact CECAMO directly in case of problems.
A project funded by the Ministry of Education was founded in 1989 to protect the rights of children/adolescents/women and take prevention measures in the areas of:
* Commercial sexual exploitation
* Child labor
* Prostitution
* Domestic and sexual violence
The project employs 21 staff in León, including social workers, psychologists, lawyers and "promoters”, who promote the rights of children/young people and women in the city.
The aim is to support women, adolescents and girls to secure their dignity, self-worth and security in an environment where they feel valued, a sense of belonging and respect and which they can trust. The organization is committed to maintaining justice, peace, and providing education and a caring society, human rights, gender equality and personal fulfillment.
Volunteers and interns can support the social workers, psychologists or lawyers in their work, depending on prior knowledge and interests. The minimum internship duration for this project is 6 months.

IXCHEN is an organisation that supports and represents women throughout Nicaragua in its 10 offices. IXCHEN was founded in 1989 by a former politician who saw the need for specific help and advice for women.
IXCHEN is a centre which focusses on helping women to come up for their rights in the ‘machista’ Nicaraguan society, where men normally are the dominant gender. Major issues addressed are: domestic violence, family planning, health and cancer prevention. The office serves all day as a consultation centre, where women from the whole region arrive to get some help in handling their often very personal problems. Also, for the cancer prevention program, visits are made to more rural areas, although the funding of this program is in danger at the moment.
Ixchen is located a little outside of the Leonese city centre, but very well located right at the central bus station, so that women of rural areas can easily visit the centre for help.
Apart from the director, an attorney (for help during law suits in case of domestic violence), a psychologist/social worker, a General Practitioner, a gynaecologist, a nurse, a lab assistant, a secretary and two security workers work at the center in León. Most workers are female.
The work has often to do with informing and educating local women, who often only have very basic education, about topics such as birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and supporting them in the things they have experienced such as domestic violence. A background in social work or nursing is very helpful for volunteers, and advanced knowledge of Spanish is definitely necessary.
Volunteers should also have the capacity to be open to understanding and respecting cultural differences, which can be quite shocking sometimes. For example many Nicaraguan rural women are really convinced that their men have the right to beat them and to have relationships with several women at the same time.
Some examples of activities that could be part of the work are taking basic vital signs, giving advice on family planning and sexually transmitted diseases, assisting during intake, writing and administrating patient dossiers, preparing and equiping rooms for intake and examination, and assisting the doctor, nurse and/or social worker when asked.
Volunteers should be of female gender to reduce the distance with the patients and to stimulate an open interaction ‘between women’. As already said, your level of Spanish language has to be advanced to perform the tasks.
Info Box
Location: León, Nicaragua
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: Internship - 1 month (See Text); For qualified volunteers, smaller durations are possible
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: Spanish
Room with host family, Shared Accommodation
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Lawyer, Social Worker, Psychologist
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant knowledge
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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