12-year-old tells Plan he won't let us down
Interview by María Luisa Balboa: Local Development Facilitator, Altiplano Program Office, Bolivia
“Hi, everyone! Today you get to see what I look like from my photo. My name is Nelvin, and I’m 12 years old.
“Two years ago, I met Nicolás (who works at Plan) and he asked me if I knew the Head of Communication and Sponsorship (HCS) in my town. I didn’t know who, or what, that was so he explained, '. . . it’s the person who is in charge of bringing letters to, and taking pictures of, families.' One day, I asked him if I could be the HCS because I wanted to help with the letters. My sponsor is from France, and every year she sends me at least three letters; she sends me postcards from her country and is concerned about me and my family. I really care about her, too."
I was 10 when I began helping Plan
“I don’t know how, but Don Nico took me on and I’ve been helping the community for two years. Not many letters arrive but, when they do, it’s really nice to take them to people. Some people thank me; others say ‘they just send paper.’ I tell them that it must be that they want you to get to know their country. I then ask, ‘Can’t you also send photographs of our lake that is so beautiful?’ They just laugh. Some people in the community wonder if I know what I’m doing — if I’m just losing their letters.
“The authorities invited me to a meeting and I reported on what I do; my dad was worried that they were going to dismiss me, since no one in the community had appointed me. But I really like it. I’ve been trained to draft projects and I’ve shared one of my projects with my teacher and classmates: the roof of our classroom was in bad shape and once they looked at the budget I drafted, they realized it wouldn’t take much money. Now they’re going to fix the roof!"
I won't let you down
“Out of everything, what I like the most is the digital camera. I taught myself how to use it, but some people make me nervous when they say ‘Make sure you take a good picture’; I get scared that I’ll make a mistake. The grown-ups demand a lot, but I know that within a year I’ll be very good at it.
“For now, all I’m asking Plan to do is to keep taking me into account and inviting me to all their workshops — I won’t let them down!”
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