Mothers: community water protectors in Y Kuaa

June 17, 2021 Gender Equity

Last May we commemorated Mother's Day.

They play a fundamental role in accompanying the Leaders of Change during different community activities that are generated within the framework of Y Kuaa project of the Lazos de Agua program.

They are also part of the target groups [i] for addressing sustainable behaviors, such as proper hand washing with soap and water, and the proper use and management of the sanitary sewage system at home.

Such is the case of Silvana, who is Marcos Brizuela's grandmother, Leader of Change [ii] in the community of Yakare''i 3 Bocas, in Caaguazú department. She is the treasurer of her community's sanitation board and accompanies the young Leaders of Change in all their training and activities.

Mrs. Silvana López, from the Yakare' i 3 Bocas community, showing the certificate she obtained after attending one of the Leaders of Change training workshops within the framework of the Y Kuaa project. Photo: Ever Yegros, Y Kuaa project.

"We made a short film where I played the lead role. The theme was water scarcity," she recounts. "I felt very good participating. I like acting because I am very active. I always work with young people, whether in the chapel as a catechist, in the farmer organizations, or in the agro-ecological networks where we prepare food and farm products. This is also how I educate my colleagues," she says.

On the other hand, she emphasizes the importance of mothers accessing training and conducting activities such as those promoted by the Social Art for Behaviour ChangeTM approach of the One Drop Foundation.

"Sometimes, many mothers are interested and want to help their family grow financially, but because they don't have the tools, they can't do it because they don't know how," she explains.

Water care

Thus, as community guardians, Silvana and the other mothers in the community pass on to their sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters the value of water and the importance of sustainability.

"We teach our children that we must keep water safe for their consumption and that we must not misuse it because it is a resource that can run out. Also, we must be compliant with the fee payments, understanding that we pay for the water supply service, not for the water itself. There is a whole system that works to provide us with water and whose functioning depends on us", she mentions.
"If the mothers are up to date with payments, they are also informed about where and how the water is used. That benefits the whole community," she adds.

Finally, she concludes by encouraging women and mothers to value themselves as a fundamental part of the communities they live in.

"Today we have to raise our voices and defend our rights, value ourselves as Paraguayan women, as mothers, as housewives; feel brave and fight for our families and our community, without getting discouraged," she concludes.

Information presented by: Moises Bertoni Foundation.

[i] Priority (or target) group: set of people with a defined profile - in terms of their activities, interests, knowledge, artistic preferences, etc. - who are expected to experience behavioural change through SABC interventions.

[ii] Leaders of Change: members of the community who, after having been trained within the framework of the Program, can promote and influence the adoption and sustainability of the target behaviors. Their role is key during project implementation and after project completion, contributing to its sustainability. Although some of these people are already community, organizational, institutional, religious or cultural leaders, most of the Leaders of Change are members of the community who recognize themselves as leaders from SABC processes. These people are open to change and new ideas; and they seek to inspire and mobilize people in their environment and community. They also identify themselves as Agents of Change.

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