Building My Future in Guatemala
At ChildFund, we believe change happens when your head and your heart are going in the same direction. And that’s what’s happening with the participatory rural appraisal (PRA) program in Guatemala.
The PRA gives children and youth the opportunity to talk about their feelings and goals regarding their community.
Thirteen-year-old Brenda was invited to participate in the PRA and, while shy at first, she became an active participant sharing her ideas with enthusiasm.
Brenda lives with her mother, three brothers and two sisters. Making sure all of her siblings remain safe is one of Brenda’s biggest concerns. When she grows up, she hopes to be a secretary, and she dreams of a community where everyone has a roof over their heads.
During her participation in PRA, Brenda became keenly interested in the information the facilitator shared about children’s rights. The right to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment hit home for Brenda.
She and a group of her peers drew a map of their community and located high-risk areas where they did not feel comfortable.
By identifying dangers in her community, Brenda is getting the opportunity to show her mother and other adults that problem areas can be fixed so that the children can grow up in a safe environment.
Given the success that she and her peers have had, Brenda expects her community will vote to involve more children like herself in community work development.
“I’ve learned that my friends and I can be an active part in our community,” says Brenda.
“We don’t have much participation now, but, I hope, we will. I want to build a better future for my family and my community.”