The Foundation for the Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (FADCANIC), with the support of the U.S. Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, recently began the second phase of their mass media campaign “Change Now. Let’s Do It!” by holding high school debates focused on the topics of violence and drugs. Semi-final debates for Bluefields were held October 9 and 10, and the final debate with semi-final winners Moravian and Horacio Hodgson High Schools will be held October 23.
During each debate, student teams of five were very engaged in the topics and gave well thought out answers, some with heartfelt examples from their personal lives. Over 100 audience members were entertained by an energetic host who gave out prizes for correctly answering violence and prevention questions, songs and dances performed by fellow students, debate judges who spoke out against violence and drugs, and the debate moderator who summed up each topic for the students to further deepen the discussion. The judges were drug and violence experts from the Nicaraguan National Police Juvenile Affairs Division, the penitentiary system, Bluefields’ Indigenous Caribbean University, and the Psychosocial Care Center in Bluefields. Channel five taped the debates and broadcast them the same day.
Final debates will also be held in Puerto Cabezas and Waspam this month. FADCANIC’s one-year mass media campaign will close November 30, 2014, and has proven to be a very successful multi-faceted program with widespread impacts in the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.