Vanessa studies and lives in Managua, Nicaragua. She had always dreamed of developing and improving the living conditions in her surrounding, despite all the difficulties. She grew up in a country that lacks development opportunities. Despite everything, she never stopped believing in her dreams and chasing them. Today she receives a scholarship that came about through the cooperation between the organizations Puente Nica and SBW Berlin. This scholarship enables her to bring her dreams closer to their goal.
At SBW Berlin we believe in education as an instrument for personal development and the improvement of living conditions.
Here is a short interview with Vanessa.
What is it like to grow up and live in Nicaragua?
Growing up in Nicaragua is difficult, more so if you live in a rural area where poverty is greater and job opportunities are scarce. My childhood, even though I grew up lacking many things, was very happy. As one grows older, though, I realize how hard it is for parents to find food for the family.
What motivated you to pursue an academic career? Was it difficult?
my parents since they always showed me the great value of education, and they have always motivated me to study so that I can have a better future.
But Yes. it’s was a challenging decision because of many factors that affects the country and the way to live here.
Why do you want to study Rural Development?
For me it is simple. I want to be an agent of change for my country. I feel that this career will give me the opportunity to work for the people, focusing on trying to solve or propose alternative solutions to different problems of my community.
For me coming from a rural community, I know how difficult life is in the countryside, and the poverty that exists in many communities. And I know of many cases of problems that may have a solution if we join to try to give our inhabitants a better quality of life.
What are your experiences as a student of Universidad Nacional Agraria in Managua?
My experience at the National Agrarian University, is until now the traditional thing, because right now I only take basic classes, due to Covid-19 we returned to traditional classrooms, individual work, and online classes. I hope now to start taking the specific classes corresponding to my career to exceed my expectations of my studies.
Does Corona affect your studies?
yes, the coronavirus has come to change everyone’s life, and it affects the methodology of the classes. Starting with the in-person lectures that are no longer every day but only 3 or 4 times a week or having low-quality online lectures.
We are limited to create work groups, with colleagues anymore and I hope the situation becomes better for me and my studies.
What kind of volunteer work is most needed in Nicaragua?
I think it is more necessary to support people with limited economic resources.
My people live in extreme poverty, they generally dedicate themselves to planting crops, but often do not have the necessary resources to do so, and they lack financing and counselling of the process, so they obtain losses, so I want to help on that.
Did you ever work as a volunteer?
Yes, I worked as a volunteer in 2 organizations that took projects to my community. They trained people in the sector (including myself) to help them organize their work. and they asked me to give the workshops to surrounding communities.
How did you discover about the Scholarship?
I found out about it thanks to a friend who saw the post on Facebook and I apply for it.
What are your obligations as a scholarship holder?
Some of my obligations are:
Maintain a good academic average. Not less than 80 points out of 100.
Comply with volunteering. Six hours a month minimum.
Submit proof of enrolment for each semester.
Notify if any scholarship is received from any other organization.
Not working for more than 32 hours per month if paid.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to add that I love and I appreciate so much this opportunity you give me so that I can continue my university studies. I think it is too nice of a gesture to support young people like me who have the desire to increase professionally but do not have the financial resources to do so. always I say that knowledge is power that you must learn to use for the common good.”
This is why I encourage many young people who may be confused thinking that studying is a waste of time, it may be a long, complicated road, but it is the best decision you can make for your life.