Balvina: “Así ya no tendré miedo”

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Listen to this story in English:
Voice: Isabela Lyrio

Este video forma parte en la serie “Para que las mujeres no nos quedemos atrás…”.  SIPAS (mujer joven), son los testimonios de: Balvina, Elva, Criselda, mujeres que comparten histórias de sus procesos de alfabetización.

“Ahora, estoy aprendiendo a escribir, para poder firmar, así ya no tendré miedo, ya no temblaré y no estaré detrás de las personas.” – Balvina, indígena, Perú

Realización: Campaña Peruana por el Derecho a la Educación; Campaña Mundial por la Educación; Comisión Europea; Save the Children.


Balvina, indigenous, Peru

My father wouldn’t send me to school, in the past they wouldn’t send us to school … Our parents would say: “to send letters to men, that is why I will send you!”.

My siblings have not gone to school either, but the boys studied by themselves. My father never allowed me to study when he saw it.

I could not sign in my community’s assemblies, but those who could always left our assemblies too fast, so my father would feel guilty.

“The cattle, the cattle!”, he said, and now there is no more cattle. We put the cattle to graze, but then we had to sell all our cattle, my brother went away with it.

They left me all alone, only three of us were left, my sister who has passed away and another brother.

They should have stayed here, so that my father would see how all my suffering.

Now I’m learning how to write, so I can sign, so I will not be afraid anymore… I will not shake anymore or hide behind other people.

Now, I can sign at the assemblies, I have learned, that’s why I am learning how to read and write.

Come to school, women! I’m learning, and we all will learn, so that we are not left behind.

I want my children to know that this is their right, my right, the right of all brothers and sisters to go to school.

If they want to learn, so they won’t feel ashamed anymore for not knowing, they will write whenever they need, without asking anyone for help as I did in the past.

I could not sign, and I asked people  to help me sign… But now I know.

I sign, whether it is difficult or not.

And my children know it as well.

I made all of them to complete school. So, I will remain as the only one who was illiterate.

“You will finish!” – and so my children finished school.

Produced by: Campaña Peruana por el Derecho a la Educación; Campaña Mundial por la Educación; Comisión Europea; Save the Children.

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