In-Country Facilitator, Ecuador Office, WE
Reflecting back on this impact he’s witnessed, his experience and what he is most proud of from his time at WE, Carlos said,
While working for WE I was able to participate in such different projects, from building a classroom to digging trenches for a clean water system. I have seen how families, mainly women and little girls, stopped walking two hours daily to get water and being able to use that time for their own education or micro business projects (artisans groups).
I have seen, in a family of six people that never had any past relative graduated from school, how a little girl from a small community becomes a powerful woman and graduate, aiming to keep studying to improve her community.
I have witnessed how indigenous communities started to gain confidence and believed in their potential to change things. It is amazing when you realize that community members believe in themselves and want to improve their life and are giving out everything they have to achieve it. What a great sacrifice.
Working for WE, and that will sound very cliché, made me a better human being. It made me realize how fortunate I am, and how powerful is a person who wants to change the world, despite their age.
We all have the responsibility to leave a better world to the future generations and I am sure everyone on WE thinks this way.
I learnt many things while working at WE (from first aid to standard operations procedures), but what I will never forget are the names and faces of the whole human team behind WE in Ecuador and all community members.
Having participate on a minga tradition has been one of my highlights during my time with WE. Being accepted and able to work alongside powerful and wise people for a common good made me think that together, we are unstoppable. Unfortunately, it made me realize as well how lost we are sometimes in the so-called West. Such traditions reinforce community and strength human relations, something that nowadays is kind of hidden in our daily life where we just focused on ourselves.
Thinking about what’s changed during his time at WE and his most memorable impact, Carlos said,
The first change has been on me. I changed as a person for the better. I learnt from very unprivileged families and working together with them and listening to what they really wanted to be or become was very powerful. Sometimes, nongovernmental organizations succumb to the idea of telling communities, in this case, what they need. WE does not do that but encourage community members through their representative to choose their own projects.
On the other hand, after having led many youth trips, WE has given me hope in the world youth. I honestly think they can be the agents of change, not of tomorrow, but today.
The most memorable impact of my work has been raising awareness on youth about issues that are not just affecting Ecuador but many places in the world every day.
Being able to “mentor” youth to create change was very powerful. People need to start thinking that they can always do more than what they are doing, no matter their age or other factors. We all have a chance to change the world for the better. Let’s seize it. Being among those “youth changers” inspired me to keep working on social issues and to never give up. There is always a way to improve things in the world.
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