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Roselvi: a leadership testimony

Roselvi is a 13-year-old community leader who participates in Plan International´s project “Children and Teenagers exercising their citizenship”.

In Peru’s rural areas, children and teenagers’ ideas are often undervalued by adults. This situation is especially difficult for girls, and Plan International Peru is committed to ensuring that girls have a way to improve their participation in communities.

Our scheme ‘Children and teenagers exercising their citizenship’ works in collaboration with girls to develop their social and organisational skills, so that they can better participate in the issues that affect them.

In Cajamarca, with Plan International’s support, children have created a provincial-level organisation with 140 members, solely made up of children and teenagers.

Roselvi is part of this organisation and of Cajamarca’s Youth Advisory Board. Thanks to the Project, Roselvi has empowered herself to reclaim, in an assertive way, her rights and to generate positive transformations in her community. The strong gender approach of this project has also empowered Roselvi to identify and act upon gender inequality situations.

Roselvi, a 13-year-old community leader, sitting outside her house.
Roselvi is a 13-year-old community leader who participates in Plan International´s project “Children and Teenagers exercising their citizenship” in Peru.

She says: “In my school the female students wanted to participate in the school elections, but we were not allowed. We complained to the school director, but the parents were pressuring him to not let us participate.”

Roselvi and her classmates created posters on equal rights to raise awareness about this situation and placed them all over their school

“We would paste the posters at night,” she explains. “We also had meetings with our male classmates to raise their awareness. At the end, the director agreed that us girls could participate in the next election process.”

Roselvi has also advocated for gender equality in her own family and is already seeing the changes.

“My dad now actually talks to my mom,” she says. “They establish a dialogue and make plans for the future.”

Community members of her town have recognised Roselvi’s leadership and have invited her to the community assembly to share what she is learning in Plan International’s project.

“I have participated in two meetings. Before, adults would never take us into account. Little by little they are giving us more participation opportunities. When I share with them what I’ve learnt in Plan International’s workshops, everyone listens and they want to hear more. I explain to them why it is important that girls study and do not marry at a young age.”

Roselvi is the first minor in the history of her town to be invited to participate in a community assembly.