fROM BENEFICIARY TO COLLABORATOR
Sorayda Méndez Méndez, remembers that the first time she heard about Agua Para La Vida Nicaragua (APLVN), was in 2019, through her uncle Everth Méndez, president of the Water and Sanitation Committee (CAPS) and Bartolomé Méndez, Sorayda’s grandfather, who were the ones who managed the water project in her community, Las Mesas Sur, in the department of Matagalpa, where she is from.
She has always been involved in community activities, and at that time, she was the coordinator of the youth network, with 8 other women, who gave talks to children. Her interest in becoming a FECSA (Healthy Families, Schools and Communities) promoter was born when her uncle Everth told her that they needed young people to make house-to-house visits to give talks on home hygiene and the proper use of latrines.
Through this experience, her interest in learning and acquiring more knowledge grew, although she mentions that it was not easy, since it is a process of learning and teaching.
The Water and Sanitation Committee (CAPS) saw how responsible and dedicated she was in every talk she gave, and invited her to be part of them. Sorayda mentions that thanks to the empowerment she received from APLVN, she learned how to read a meter, how to fill out the receipts, how to measure chlorine in the water, among other things.
In the year 2021, Sorayda was studying her 5th year of Sociology and the university where she was studying required her to do an internship, for the completion of her degree and due to the process she had during the implementation of the project in her community, she was interested and curious to know: How each process is done in APLVN, how a community can be a beneficiary of a water project and what requirements are needed?
So Sorayda contacted the executing technician, Oreste Torrez, and asked him if she could do her internship at APLVN. Oreste told her to make an application to evaluate if there was an opportunity and soon after, the answer was positive.
Sorayda comments that her experience facilitated the process of completing her studies, because some of the topics she learned about in class, she already knew from the field trips she took or through the experiences that the APLVN team shared with her. He visited places he had never imagined and going and getting to know more closely the situations that each family lives was also part of the experience acquired.
In January 2022, Jaime Alonso, APLVN’s technical director, called him because they needed someone to coordinate some studies in the communities of Waslala, a municipality in the Autonomous Region of the Northern Caribbean Coast.
Sorayda tells us that it has been a blessing to be able to collaborate with APLVN, as she has been able to get involved and relate more closely with the inhabitants of each community and gain knowledge every day.
“But above all it allowed me to give more of myself, to be more humanistic and to be more committed to society,” were Sorayda’s words.