What is it about?

This paper describes the implementation of a novel, youth-led program in Nicaragua, conducted with a group of youth experiencing homelessness in this context, and which led to the generation of youth-developed outputs including a street theatre play, a mural, and a hip hop song and music video. We provide suggestions for successful implementation and adaptation of the framework used to engage and empower these youth in other diverse settings with this population.

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Why is it important?

Limited programming options are available to meet the wide-ranging needs of youth experiencing homelessness, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where the majority of this population lives. This study showed that a framework, originally developed in Toronto, Canada, could be used to successfully engage and empower youth experiencing homelessness in Managua, Nicaragua. These findings hold promise for our capacity to support this group of high-needs young people in resource-diverse contexts globally.


This research was an exciting opportunity to collaborate with experts working with youth experiencing homelessness in Nicaragua, and to learn so much about the culture and context where these youth are living. For academics in North America, we often do not get to hear the perspectives of frontline workers in contexts like these, and we had the chance to learn from them as part of this collaboration, which was a great pleasure. We are excited to share the impressive outputs from these youth which substantiate their amazing potential and capacity when they have supports around them that allow them to flourish.

Kayla Hamel
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: By youth for youth: Empowering youth experiencing homelessness in Managua, Nicaragua., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, May 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/ort0000674.
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