Johanna María Carballo, Facilitator

Johanna Carballo, (second from the right) with brigadistas from her neighbourhood and a mosquito piñata.

For me, SEPA has truly been an extraordinary learning experience. During these eight months of shared experiences I have learned to value many things. Today I feel more sensitive to the problems of others; solidarity and sharing problems as well as solutions have made me more mature.

In one of the neighbourhoods, the most important change has been the acceptance and backing that households have given a group of children and youth. It’s a small brigade made up of six members that have managed to reach the households in spite of the scant support that local leadership has offered them for reasons beyond their control. This has not kept the brigade from developing a close bond with the households, which was recognised during the recent peer-to-peer monitoring. There is a lot to be done, such as making the brigade grow, but I also know they have taken important steps towards developing SEPA in the neighbourhood.

As for another neighbourhood, the most important change has been the strengthening of social relationships between the communities and their leaders. While it’s true that this neighbourhood’s leadership is strong and united, SEPA has contributed to unite the leaders and the community. This bond has allowed them to reach more households that they couldn’t access before and get to know their problems. The SEPA brigade is greatly appreciated by the neighbourhood’s residents.