Chris is one of CAFOD’s Step into the Gap volunteers working for the Youth Ministry Team in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. He’s currently in Nicaragua to see CAFOD’s work and has sent back this blog:
“How can one person make a difference in the world?” It is a hard question to answer.
At the start of our trip Vicky, one of our kind accompaniers, explained to us how ASOMUPRO – the association of women producers who we spent the week with – starts making a difference with the women they work with. They do this by giving women the opportunity to start believing in themselves. ASOMUPRO says that in the Nicaraguan machista society, once women start saying “I can” that is half the battle won. And it is surprising how much the phrase “I can” came up throughout our week with ASOMUPRO.
Here is one of the stories of those people affected by ASOMUPRO, this will hopefully give you an insight into their work, on a personal level.
During our trip to visit one of the distinguished women ASOMUPRO works with, Dona Helen, one of Dona Helen’s friends, Delci, with her 10 year old daughter, Daniela, made a visit. We were at this point part way through finding out about Dona Helen’s experiences of ASOMUPRO and so she also invited Delci to say a small part about ASOMUPRO. Delci told us about how her relationship with her husband had gradually changed. This was because as she grew in self-esteem, and learnt about domestic violence laws, and women’s rights, through the training ASOMUPRO provided, her relationship with her husband also transformed.
We then asked Delci a few questions about the machista society in Nicaragua such as “Do you think equality is possible?” to which she sadly replied “I do not think it is possible. There really are men who believe that women have no rights.” Although Delci has developed a better relationship with her husband, she does not have hope for equality in Nicaragua.
We then moved on to asking Daniela a few questions and she happened to sum up hope in the most amazing way. We asked her “Do you have hope?” and she said “Yes”. We then asked her “How can we help others to have hope?” To which she replied “We have to believe in ourselves.” This young girl knows more about hope than any of us it seems! She expresses what ASOMUPRO are really doing. ASOMUPRO are giving women hope by helping them believe in themselves. And because these women believe in themselves they are giving others hope for equality in Nicaragua. Thank you Daniela, you certainly can.