X-Ray 8 are building on the brilliant work of Alpha 8 in Siares San Ramon, putting another level on the pre-school project. 22% of Nicaraguans struggle with illiteracy but through this project and projects like it, Raleigh can increase awareness of disadvantaged groups, access to education and focus on children's human rights.
My host family in Nicaragua is, in my eyes, representative of the less fortunate women in this world. The mother is 50 years old and has been working in their home for 34 years since she was 16, she counts the days until her husband returns after being away for the duration of every month, working to provide her with money and the family with their father. Their daughter is 20 and pregnant but the father is missing.
They have another daughter of 16, who is following naturally in the footsteps of her mother and sister. When I asked her why she isn’t going to school she looked at me as if I was crazy and answered ‘my brothers are going to school, i’m not’, she finished elementary school at 12 and has been in the home since. The expectation is that women are in the home supporting their family, which is completely natural but I am lucky to come from a country and family where I have been given amazing opportunities to succeed and brought up to believe I can be anything I want to be.
Billy, Lewis and Adriana from X-Ray 8Everyone knows that many women walk for hours to get water for their families but do you all realize that after those hours and many kilometers, only a small part of their work is done. What about when they are ill, being ill is not an option, because that would mean the whole family has nothing to drink. Emotions that we recognise at home like stress or burn-out, just don’t exist here. A 6 to 9 month rest after giving birth to a child is unacceptable, the day after a baby is born life carries on as usual with all chores expected to be completed, it has made me consider the fact that 800 women a day die because of pregnancy or in childbirth.
X-Ray 8 are building a pre-school in Siares, San RamonAs discussed on a previous blog about the UN Millennium Development Goals 2&3, they call for universal primary education, promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women and this project contributes to these goals.
The problems that I have mentioned about education for women, water and health are all avoidable. It is the responsibility of global leaders to be the difference. To set an example to help all the women in the world, although this raises another question – why is the proportion of women in politics globally only 6%?
We have to stop waiting and be the difference we want to see in the world.
Conrad Hagger, X-Ray 8's Project Comms Officer wrote about his experience so far:
We are now about a week into the community phase in San Ramon and I am certain that this is the time when I will learn the most about myself, the community and my team. Going into a home-stay with a local Nicaraguan family for two weeks with absolutely no Spanish, is far outside of my comfort zone but the family have taken me into their home as one of their own. They are so eager to please and pull out all the stops to make us feel at home.
The food, has become the highlight of our days with an array of dishes ranging from rice and beans to rice and beans, and occasionally accented with egg, tortilla, potato and frankfurters.
PM Helena perfecting her building skills
Billy mixing cement
The school is coming on brilliantly well, all 4 walls will be finished by the end of phase.
The work has progressed very quickly with about a metre of wall built on the new school building, 2 gate posts built and a path to the partially built latrine.
A school for these children, an incredible project
The worksite is an amazing place to be, right next to the existing school building, surrounded by smiling, excitable kids either playing games hoping you'll join in, or staring intently at whatever you're doing. I think this will be the phase I remember the most after Raleigh. This is the experience of a lifetime.
Saying goodbye to the roadtrip of Jess, Vanessa, Holly and Alice
Find out more about this project through Jess Adsett's blog which shined a spotlight on the typical life of an 18 year old girl in Siares. Click here to find out more >