JLC and Progressio ICS are organisations which work for gender equality. For communities in Intibuca; particularly Belen, Manazapa and Los Encinos, there are many advantages brought by these organisations. These are rural communities with few opportunities and nobody is concerned to speak about important themes. Speaking as a member of the community of Belen; in July 2013, a group of people from JLC Progressio ICS arrived in my community and brought a proposal to start a micro enterprise for young people.
They spoke to the community about self-esteem, health and hygiene, and the young people learnt that it was important to speak about these themes. Later they involved our mothers and fathers, who also learnt about important issues such as domestic violence, confidence and enthusiasm. The national and British volunteers were a big help, because we were not used to meeting people from other places, and the men in the community often left aside the importance of women. When the theme of gender equality was introduced and the work of these organisations was presented to us, it had a really positive impact for everyone, suddenly I realised that women have so much more capacity and potential to participate, than they had been given the opportunity to do.
Every day that the organisations came to our community, it gave us more enthusiasm to learn something new. Nobody from other countries had visited us in the past, and it was amazing that life had allowed us to see and learn about their culture. By enabling the ladies in the community to bring their children to the meetings, it allowed more women to attend.
As young people working with these organisations, it gives us hope for a change for our families. We want to continue to learn about these issues and develop skills that serve our families, helping us to transform the community with the support of Progressio ICS and JLC. The young people, men and women in our community, would like the social help of JLC and Progressio ICS to continue and give us the capacity to manage the micro enterprises, live healthily and learn about themes such as domestic violence and gender equality. It is also really important for the community to support the women’s football team.
Now we are really excited to help more people join in. Supported by these organisations, many young people are gaining important knowledge for their lives and we hope that in the not too distant future, all men and women will participate and work hand in hand in the same direction.
Written by one of the Honduran volunteers.