Outcomes – Stories from Participants

Lariza Caetano’s Story

Mwarusi (adolescent girl)
from Escola da Pedreira
13 years old

This is my story about loss of fear in expressing my ideas. Believing in my abilities and values to develop my community.

This project has changed my life a lot. And the big change is that I can open up and realize that I have the right to express myself, and also I have developed leadership skills – I didn’t believe I could be a leader. Since being in this project, my classmates elected me as a representative to go and talk to the school board to represent the students to discuss the issue of water and sanitation at school.  This happened because I gathered my class and talked about the issues of water and sanitation, things that I learned here in the project.  I did this because I lost the fear of being able to express myself. This made me more confident of my leadership abilities.  

Thanks to these workshops, which taught us to look at our problems and bring new ways to solve these problems (different from the solutions we are used to, like community wells), I learned a great deal. 

The other great learning is to realize that we (the most affected with the lack of water because we are the ones that go looking for it), we were in the condition of receivers of solutions, now we are in the position of transmitters of solutions about WASH and permaculture for the problems of the community.

Honestly speaking, I never imagined myself to be in an innovation project. Therefore, being here was a great lesson in life, because today I understand that the place of women in society is not simply to take care of the house, we women can and should occupy any place in our society.

Today with the project I can now talk to my parents, neighbors and other adults about WASH, and from this moment I want to become a community activist to talk about what I have learned because I believe this can change a lot of people, especially women like me. For example, now I want to create a group with my friends so we can start to do awareness raising in the neighborhoods about WASH and permaculture. But the problem is that I will not have the resources for this. I also think that these workshops should last longer, because we occupy our space doing interesting things instead of doing nothing, and I wish that we had more opportunity to transmit to the communities what we learned in the workshops.