A letter from… San Nicolás, Honduras
It all started suddenly when my team was invited to participate in a women’s football tournament in the community of Belén. We did very well and won the tournament. I did not know anyone at Jóvenes Liderando Cambios, the local organisation who had organised the tournament, but I was curious to find out more. A group of young British people volunteering in the community grabbed my attention.
Soon, I was teaching football skills as a volunteer with Progressio̕s International Citizen Service team. The training we gave also covered issues such as gender equality and self-esteem. We worked with 13 young women in Manazapa, 16 in Belén, 14 in Los Encinos and 20 in Chiligatoro.
The four communities got involved in the activities with a positive attitude, always eager to keep learning. Football is a fun way to develop bonds of friendship with other people in the community. I enjoyed encouraging young women to participate, but also to continue with their studies, and to understand and take advantage of the opportunities available to them.
It is important to believe that if we can trust in our own abilities and help others without expecting anything in return, this will help us to be better people every day, both in and outside of our communities.
It was rewarding to work with young women who were determined to learn, come rain, come shine. I was very grateful when they told me they liked the training sessions. This gave me great satisfaction that I was doing things to the best of my abilities and that as a group we were working very well.
Initially, it was hard for me – not being able to speak English – and for the British volunteers – not being able to speak Spanish. However, despite the language barrier, our team of national and UK volunteers was able to carry out all our activities.
What I admired most about my British fellow team members was that they always seemed willing to do anything that the project required of them. That is what we need – effort and dedication to develop our team’s activities.
Through volunteering, I have learnt about the importance of devoting more time to what we want to do, of loving whatever we are doing, working collaboratively and striving to learn. I also learnt to have the courage to be active, move forward with my own life and have a clear vision of the goals I want to achieve. It is important to always remember that however difficult a task may seem, it can be done. Whatever task seems impossible, we can try our best. No matter how difficult one’s problems are, we can always find a solution.
Kenia Meza is a local volunteer with Progressio’s International Citizen Service team (ICS). To fi nd out more about overseas volunteering opportunities with Progressio ICS, visit http://www.progressio.org.uk/ics
This article was published in the July/August 2014 edition of Reform.