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"I learned that I am a person equal to them"
“I didn’t realise that as a citizen I have the right and the duty to inform myself and also to find out what is happening in our municipality.”
“I feel that I went through a personal change in 2011. Now I can communicate with people in official positions, with people of great experience, such as municipal and regional authorities or officials of government institutions
This year I also learned to defend my rights. I have the right to be paid attention to and listened to, without political or religious bias. I also learned that as a citizen I have responsibilities, to be responsible for the tasks I am assigned.
I also learned that it is a citizen’s right to oversee, keep an eye on, monitor or confirm what happens to state funds, such as in government institutions, in the council. To see how they are managed, how they function, if the officials are doing their job, how are they carrying out their duties of administering the State while being paid with our resources.
I think I have changed. I used to be a shy person who felt worhtless. I was too nervous to speak out, I couldn’t give my name, I trembled. Now I feel that I have these capabilities after studying with IPADE and receiving training and capacity building workshops.
I am now a person who can speak out, decide and talk. I can present any doubt to anybody, be it high ranking officials, educated people, engineers, university graduates. I’ve learned that I am a person equal to them.
I used to feel worthless, that I was unimportant because I am a farmer with little education. But today I recognise that no, I am a very important person and I can do things, I can make decisions just as those important people do.
Before I would listen to what was going on in the projects, projects that were badly managed. I use to think it wasn’t my buisiness that it was the State or the officials, or those in charge, the responsable people who had to oversee it. I didn’t realise that as a citizen I have the right and the duty to inform myself and also to find out what is happening in our municipality as well as in all of our Nicaragua – to know if the officials of State institutions, who get paid by us citizens, are doing their job properly.”
Name: Bertha Alvarado
Age: 37 years
Organization: IPADE Siuna