More than 12,000 fathers, mothers, and caregivers have received new knowledge and skills to improve the raising of their children and also their education and security through the Parents’ Schools (EPMs). EPMs are being developed by USAID through the CARS Activity, implemented by DevTech Systems, in Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast. Mario Gaitán is just one of those 12,000 participants.

Mario is a single father who separated from his wife two years ago because she was exercising violence toward their three children. To support his family, he works nights as a security guard. Despite his overnight shift, every morning Mario takes his children to school from his home on the outskirts of the city and picks them up afterward. Mario has secured permission for his children to come 10 minutes late so he can prepare their food and help them get ready in the morning before they begin the lengthy walk to school. He takes advantage of his trip to the school every day to ask about his children’s homework and about their behavior.

During a talk at the parent’s school (EPM), Mario shared some of his story and why education for his children is a priority. “I introduce myself as a single father. It hasn’t been easy to care for my children (one girl and two boys), but I’m giving it my best. I barely know how to write, so my hope is that my children study and live free of violence,” Mario said.

Mario’s embodies the goal of the Parents’ School (EPM), which is to provide a place for facilitators, parents, and caregivers to share and exchange knowledge and experiences with each other to help strengthen their models and practices of raising and educating their children.