Alumni Reunion of the Certificate in Leadership and Political Management (CLPM) program

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu
Managua, March 23, 2018

Good morning.  Last week I gave a speech at an event titled “The Way towards 2030 Starts Today.”  In my speech, I asked about the Nicaragua that you want to see in 2030.  In my opinion, you are the young leaders, who can respond to this question.  You make up a network of more than 2,300 graduates of the Certificate in Leadership and Political Management program, where you promote initiatives to build the Nicaragua of the future.  I understand that you want a country that is more inclusive, where the representation and demands of several groups are valued, such as Afro-descendants, indigenous and members of the LGBTI community.

An enormous wealth of diversity exists in this network.  Proof of this are the numerous campaigns of community improvement projects you have led to bring electricity, water, greater security and school retention to your communities.

In this room, there are also young people that recently expressed their concern for the conservation of the Bosawas Reserve and organized an environmental group to advise the indigenous communities who live in this territory.

In some cases, strong friendships have formed between members of the network that surpass ideological barriers. It is the human relationships and trust that exist between individuals that help promote creativity, inspiration, and motivation to work as teams and generate change.  Young people from Nicaragua are increasingly more connected to social networks. Your page on Facebook has a group of more than 1,000 graduates and you are chatting with each other on a daily basis on WhatsApp.

It is with this same spirit of collaboration, that through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) we are supporting this series of Alumni Network gatherings.

I urge you to keep putting into practice the tools and acquired knowledge, which is of utmost importance, so that you can share it with other young people.

Despite the obstacles that you can face in life, you cannot give up your search for the common good. An example of this is the students who survived the recent attack at a high school in Florida.  Since then, these students have organized with young people from other states and have developed a network that together has great strength. What is beautiful about this network is that young kids from Florida, deliberately included youth from different social strata, Afro-descendants from communities with high rates of violence, and from the LGBTI community.  These young people are achieving social change. They started without a network, without training, and without resources.

You, on the other hand, have the advantage in that you are trained and connected to an active network. What you need is the answer to the question about the Nicaragua that you want to see in 2030.  This gathering offers you an opportunity to answer this question.  I am sure that you can achieve positive changes in your communities, within your political parties and your organizations.

Nicaragua has the ability to strengthen its democracy with committed young people like you. The Nicaragua of 2030 is in your hands.

So, congratulations and much success to all of you.

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