Ainara is a psychosocial specialist currently working with CISAS (the Centre for Health Information and Services) in Managua, Nicaragua.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a communicator – I love meeting and talking to different people in order to continue to learn about my surroundings through contact with people.
What has made the biggest impact on you?
I am struck by the work ethic of people with HIV. Promoting organisations set up by those affected by HIV and working to strengthen this fighting spirit so that they can improve their own situation.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy doing research to explore the direction we should take in order to bring about changes to unjust situations. I also like carrying out research to discover and develop positive ways to live. I love being able to use all this information and create development processes that can lead to new information and a change in attitudes.
What has been the most exciting moment so far?
We created a mailbox called the “Dr Sexus Mailbox” for young people to send their queries about sexuality. When we launched it after the training workshop – there were a lot of questions – we began responding to all the questions. It was fantastic.
Another great moment was seeing the Prevention Commission of the Self-help Group for People Living with HIV teaching secondary-school pupils about prevention.
What inspired you to become a development worker with Progressio?
I knew about Progressio’s work in El Salvador and it seemed a good environment for me to continue to learn new skills. I also like the type of work.
What has been the biggest lesson so far?
Learning to manage the conflict or the situation in a calmer manner, by respecting the times and the country’s way of working.
What is the biggest challenge facing the area in which you are working in Nicaragua?
The lack of State funds from Nicaragua’s national budget for investment in health, in particular in the fight against HIV.
There is also a need for sex education in schools to be defined in a uniform manner, with clear and scientific guidelines from the State.
If you could change one thing, what would that be?
I would like to ask this question to a Nicaraguan.
What strikes you most about Progressio’s Development Worker model?
Being able to work directly with real-life situations and in their context.
What is your favourite motto or saying?
Don't cry when the sun is gone, because the tears won't let you see the stars.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a development worker?
To listen, observe, ask questions and learn about what is happening around you before giving your point of view and advice.
Where do you see yourself once you have finished your placement?
I would like to work in the field of psychosocial and community intervention. The work I do with Progressio is helping me to learn about methodologies, research methods and the planning of our activities.