Established in 1989 and partners with The YMCAs of Québec since 1993.
In partnership with the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Westmount Y centres.
The ACJ of Nicaragua helps young people overcome traditional societal barriers and prepares them to become positive leaders for change in their communities. Within its organizational structure, and through the educational, cultural and recreational programs it offers, the ACJ models equal opportunities and leadership development for young men and women. The ACJ gives young people, and especially women, a "space" and "voice", the opportunity to learn and practice democratic processes, and to assume leadership roles within the ACJ and in their own communities in the Managua and Boaco regions.
"The ACJ of Nicaragua is a Christian, non-denominational and ecumenical organization working on the priorities of youth and the transformational development of rural and urban communities." ACJ*/YMCA of Nicaragua
ACJ of Nicaragua programs include:
- Youth Development: Recreational activities, health information and prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases, psychological support for youth and their families, scholarship programs, life skills training and leadership development.
- Community Development: Agro ecology, micro-credit program for women, Heifer and Land Bank programs.
- Institutional Development: Training for staff and volunteers and institutional financial sustainability.
The YMCAs of Québec support the ACJ's Equal Opportunities Projects:
- Information campaigns for youth focusing on gender issues, equality, healthy practices and prevention of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
- Discussion groups, video debates, theatrical presentations and forums on gender and health issues affecting youth.
- Educational sessions promoting awareness on health, reproduction and prevention of sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, to help youth make informed and responsible decisions and to help others have access to factual information.
- Training opportunities to become volunteer youth leaders with the ACJ
International Youth Camp is a very successful youth exchange between the Nicaragua ACJ and the YMCAs of Québec and Northumberland, Ontario. Now in its eighth year (2009), the program allows Canadian youth to learn about life in Nicaragua, and for Nicaraguan youth to learn about Canada by visiting Montreal and Cobourg.
*ACJ: Asociacion Cristiana de Jovenes
This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).