Our work continues to grow and significantly impact more Salvadoran families and, as we move forward in the creation of new projects, we are happy to share that the Programa Velasco family is also growing. Today we introduce you to the 3 newest members of our team: Wendy, Ricardo, and Aida.
Wendy is the new Junior Personal Empowerment Coordinator of the Women’s Empowerment Project (WEP). She has a degree in psychology and is about to graduate with a master’s degree in Human Rights and Peace Education, both from the University of El Salvador.
Wendy is responsible for providing psychosocial attention to women entrepreneurs who have not yet decided to start counseling sessions with Gloria, the clinical psychologist. The idea of this type of accompaniment is to do a little informal monitoring of the situations faced by WEP participants so that they have a space to share what is going on in their lives, and if they need it, they have the opportunity to access formal mental health services.
Wendy also participates in the planning and execution of workshops, retreats, and other activities with the groups from both communities we serve. About her work in the WEP, she shares:
“What PV does is important because we support women entrepreneurs to be aware of their importance in society, to recognize what they are capable of, to rediscover their qualities and their value. The awareness of all of these things influences their decision-making in their families. They also realize that they have rights and that they must defend them. All of us who are part of PV work for common goals regardless of our positions within the organization.”
Ricardo works as an Early Childhood Development Specialist in the new United Families Project in Tepecoyo (PFUT in its Spanish acronym). Among his main functions are planning and developing educational and interactive workshops, and providing psychosocial accompaniment to participating families.
As a native of Tepecoyo, it is especially meaningful for Ricardo to work with the families in his community. This is a great contribution to the Project and aligns with PV’s values of privileging local knowledge and practicing cultural humility.
Ricardo’s degree in education sciences gives him the knowledge and expertise to provide parents and caregivers with specific activities and/or tools that they can carry out at home to strengthen the development of the children in their care. This is one of the main objectives of PFUT.
“I like working in Programa Velasco because through the different projects, we help participants strengthen their self-worth and discover and work on their self-confidence. We do this through the workshops, psychosocial support, and counseling sessions.”
Aida is a psychologist from the University of El Salvador. She is in charge of providing counseling sessions to parents and caregivers, and coordinating, planning, and delivering educational workshops to strengthen their skills and improve their parenting relationship with the children in their care.
Aída says: “I like working in Pograma Velasco because we work with a population at social risk in the country: children and women. We support the empowerment of women to get out of this condition of vulnerability, by encouraging their independence, autonomy, and decision-making. Women are the ones who mostly lead the households in El Salvador, and serve as role models for their sons and daughters so that they are able to achieve a healthier life.”
Ricardo and Aida work within PFUT in the promotion of affective expression (emotions and feelings), the practice of values, responsible parenting, family accompaniment, and the model of discipline and positive parenting. All of this allows for harmony and a reduction of the cycles of violence not only in the home, but also at the community level. We are confident that, little by little, it will have an impact on the country as a whole.
All of us at Programa Velasco are happy to share with new people on our team to be able to work with more Salvadoran families in the best possible way.