CESESMA’s work is about empowering young people in their communities, and this booklet shows that work at its best. The research presented here was devised, led and conducted by children and young people living and working in four communities in Nicaragua. It reflects their lives and concerns, and so is very practical research. At the same time it is carried out to a high standard of systematic knowledge generation; and it is ambitious, aiming to do no less than to change cultures and values.
Transformative research such as this works on more than one level. The experience of doing the research is transformative for the young people, and also for the adults with whom they work. The research itself, and the recommendations and action plans developed from it, are potentially transformative for the society. The young people have chosen important topics, such as violence and alcohol abuse in their communities. They use what they learn from their research with members of the community – children, parents, teachers and community leaders – to challenge existing practice and show how it must change in order to achieve a society based on care, mutual respect and solidarity.