Our project’s main focus is access to social security benefits for poor, rural agricultural communities in western Nicaragua. We anticipate expanding our services to meet the diverse needs of our clients. Our project has three main goals achieved by interrelated activities.
1) Provide free legal services to CKDnT affected communities.
Legal Services Office: The office provides continuous provision of legal aid services throughout the year. Legal consultation is provided on employment matters while cases regarding social security benefits are taken on for in-depth assistance and representation. Financial assistance is provided to those clients unable to obtain requisite medical evaluations. House calls are made for clients who are too sick to come to the office.
2) Through education, empower CKDnT affected communities, workers, ex-workers and their families to advocate for their rights.
Social Security Manual: The project published the first edition of a Social Security Manual in October 2015 aimed at assisting agricultural workers and their families in navigating the Social Security system. The 123- page manual focuses on occupational illnesses and CKDnT and is written in accessible language serving as a practical tool for workers and advocates alike. The manual is available in the PASE Legal Services Office, online and is regularly distributed throughout affected communities. Additional printing and distributions of the manual occur quarterly. A second edition of the manual is anticipated in the coming year.
Social Security Trainings: The project offers trainings on a bimonthly basis, the content of which is based on the above mentioned manual. The project works with local experts who facilitate these trainings using the project’s manual and curriculum. These trainings target union leaders, community leaders and civil society organization representatives who are able to act as resources within their respective communities.
3) Advocate for better work conditions and government policies that would prevent and treat CKDnT as well as compensate individuals already affected.
Social Security Research and Publication: The project tracks trends among clients to identify how industry and government institutions can better address the illness. The project uses this information in addition to desk research and consultation with experts to publish an annual policy paper that makes recommendations for industry, government and civil society.
Domestic and International Engagement--Relationship Building: The project seeks to build upon already existing domestic partnerships that exist across sectors with the goal of facilitating connections that will aid in achieving this goal. The project seeks to maintain relationships with unions, community organizations, medical clinics and municipal level governmental institutions (such as the Ministry of Labor and the Social Security Institute). Additionally, the project aims to build upon its international relationships in efforts to share information regarding the CKDnT epidemic and the various human rights and labor rights at issue.