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Fabretto: Empowering Women through Education

BY: Diana Corrales

According to a recent study by FIDEG,  Nicaraguan women represent 52 % of the Nicaraguan population, with 39% of urban households and 28% of rural households claiming  a woman as their family leader.   Despite their prominence and importance, women in Nicaragua face several obstacles.  Many women lack  access to information and education, essentials to fostering one´s social mobility. As a result, a significant number of young women migrate to urban areas in search of minimum wage (or below) employment. To address these problems, Fabretto implements programs addresssing women´s empowerment, in order to equip women and girls with the knowledge and skills needed to grow as family or business leaders.

Education for Adolescents

Due to limited educational opportunity in many Nicaraguan communities , young women are vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies that interrupt their education and personal development in their teenage and preteen years. Through culturally sensitive workshops, Fabretto gives girls and young women the tools they need to make informed choices and mitigate risk. These interactive classes offer young women a safe haven for asking questions and learning about topics in sex, health, relationships, self-esteem, and decision-making. As a result of these workshops, young women feel empowered to take control of their futures.

Parent Training

Fabretto implements a robust training program to involve parents, mainly mothers, in school and community activities. Fabretto’s training sessions teach best practices for health, hygiene, nutrition, and child development. In 2013, 77% of total 3,007 parents trained were women.

Mothers also get involved as volunteers, supporting Fabretto´s Food Security program by preparing school meals, maintaining school facilities, and tending school gardens. As mothers become more informed, they help build healthier communities.

Pregnancy & Lactation

Through pre and postnatal activities, Fabretto helps pregnant and nursing mothers take an active role in ensuring their children’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development. In 2013, pregnant women and nursing infants (under age two) and their mothers received direct training through interactive workshops on prenatal care, breastfeeding and nutrition, and early childhood development. In addition, Fabretto trained volunteer health promoters to visit and provide consultation to pregnant women and young mothers in isolated rural communities.

Economic Development 

Recognizing that Nicaraguan women have fewer economic opportunities than their male counterparts, Fabretto prepares young women for both formal employment and small business ownership. In urban areas, students develop pertinent marketable skills in vocational classes, and a scholarship and internship program provides  placement, financial aid, and support services to help students gain work experience. In 2013, female students comprised 66% of internship and job placements.


Students from Fabretto’s Rural Secondary Education program have formed two cooperatives that distribute small loans to help students form businesses. In 2013, 60% of students involved in cooperative funded small businesses  were young women.

Also of note is the Pine Needle Basket Cooperative in the Cusmapa region, a cooperative started with support by Fabretto whom has now become wholly independent. The Pine Needle Basket Cooperative is comprised of entirely women who demonstrate entrepreneurial skills on a day-to-day basis, serving as role models for young women in the community.

If you wish to support Fabretto programs, please make a donation and get involved today.

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