Hello, could you please tell us your name and your age?
My name is Clayda Paucar Vilca and I am 26 years old.
On what date did you leave the Mosqoy house?
In 2015, well 2016.
How long were you at Casa Mosqoy?
Three years, the time it took to complete my higher education.
What did you study?
International Business Management.
For what reasons did you leave Casa Mosqoy?
Because Mosqoy only supports you through your higher education journey.
How did you get into Mosqoy?
Mosqoy came to my school to invite us. My friends and I were involved in everything and I applied with one of them who is to this day my best friend. They explained the program to us, one of the boys who had already received the support told us his experience and that the program was legit. They were going to help us in our future studies. They selected several of us, we were about 30 people and out of all of us, they were going to choose 10 people, who were going to be the beneficiaries.
What age were you?
We were around 16-17 years old.
Oh in your final year of high school!
After you left Mosqoy, did you start working immediately with the education they gave you?
Well I actually, even started working earlier. We receive the support because our parents cannot give us the opportunity to educate ourselves, so in turn, we had to secure our own meals and some other little things that the NGO did not cover. I requested permission to work in a cafeteria, they supported me with that, and I have kept working since.
You continued working at the Cafeteria and then, did you relate your studies in Business Management to any other position that you had?
I started with an internship working with the regional government in the health branch. I was an administrative assistant to the administrator at that time.
Approximately how long were you there?
I was there for around 6 months, I needed the hours of work placement to graduate.
It was a requirement
For graduation, yes.
What do you remember most about your experience at Mosqoy?
What I look back on the most was my growth as a person rather than my professional education. I learned to value my culture more, my heritage, where I come from and my native language Quechua. It was nice because the volunteers who came and the coordinators on the premises who took care of us gave us talks about all of this. Many times when we leave our communities they shame us and discriminate against us for speaking Quechua. But Mosqoy was the opposite of that, they strengthened our sense of pride and confidence in where we come from.
And who do you remember the most?
I believe those who spend the most time with us, our coordinators Juan, José Luis, Cristina and Esteph. I was with them all that time. Naturally, throughout my time many volunteers came. We had volunteer programs, volunteers would visit us at the house, and Mosqoy would hold ‘Highest Level’ dinners with all of us. The volunteers would share stories with us, many wanted to learn Quechua and they wanted to know more places to visit. They asked us about the costumes we had in our homes, it was nice to share with them, tell them about our lives, and feel that joy, even envy about our costumes.
Did you want to pass time that way?
And when did you participate in the workshops that LAFF implemented in Mosqoy?
I don’t remember exactly, but it was a Women Empowerment Workshop. It was with (…) I don’t remember their name, it was with a Bolivian woman. We were a small group of girls that went to Urubamba, I think we went for 3 days and stayed in a hotel, something like that. They gave us talks and taught us that women are capable of everything. All topics related to empowerment. It was a beautiful experience.
Has it served you?
Quite a lot.
After all this time that you have left Mosqoy, do you think that the education you have acquired there has changed your life and the life of the people close to you? Do you feel something like that?
Yes, in fact, I do, because the very fact that I finished my tertiary education has given me better opportunities. I believe I also see life in a different way, somehow further education also opens your mind more. For instance, I would like for my two youngest siblings to continue their studies and get a degree in whatever they want to do. I want to support them as well, which will probably also influence a better life for my family in the long run. Right?
Sure, and do you think your parents and your uncles, maybe see in you a new path? Would they want your siblings to follow in your footsteps?
Yes, definitely yes, my mother, for example, always says to my younger siblings “look at your sister, she’s finished, look, she’s received support and she already has better opportunities”. She even says the same to me, “you have to finish even more studies, two degrees”
And how old are your little brothers?
Leticia is 17 and is already finishing school this year and Albert is 15 years old, they are so ‘grown up’ already.
So they are soon going to start their adult life.
Yes, I’m always after them. One of the things that Mosqoy would tell us a lot is that they didn’t ask us for anything in return, but to become professionals and take advantage of the opportunity. With that opportunity, we should support our younger siblings and make them see life in a different light.
Well, what do you do now? Is it something you are passionate about or something that you have studied for? Tell me a little bit about that.
Yes, I do. From my time in Mosqoy, until now I admired the foreigners, that let’s say, identify themselves with us and have that enthusiasm, that desire, that interest to support people who do not have the best opportunities in life. Thus I currently work in another NGO that is German and also does the same thing as Mosqoy. Supports young people who come from vulnerable families. I share my experiences from my time in Mosqoy with them, and in some way or another, I feel identified with them. I stress that they also have to take advantage of that opportunity to finish their studies, not everyone receives that support and not everyone also gives it to you.
Now I can imagine how you work with these types of beneficiaries, you give them the experience you have lived.
We give them the same support that we received from Mosqoy, just as I was telling you, it is a little bigger, it covers more areas.
I see, and what exactly is the position you do at your job now?
I am a tutor for the guys, it’s the same work that my coordinators did. Overseeing their studies, giving them talks, helping them in their classes, educating them for life.
Has the experience you have had in Mosqoy, has helped you improve your quality of life?
Yes, by finishing a higher career you have more opportunities and are able to get better jobs. Making the quality of life also change too.
To have acquired your current job position has it been useful to be part of Mosqoy? Let’s say that you put in your CV does it improve your resume?
Yes, it has helped me a lot. The first thing I commented when I was being recruited is that I have also been part of an NGO which gives me an insight into the experience. I told them I know how the work is and I would like to be part of your team, to see and support the guys, and it’s what I do today. I am at a stage in life where I am fully enjoying supporting the students and being with them.
Now, do you feel that you are fully enjoying life?
Great! So right now, what are your plans for the future?
Well in short, right now I want to continue in the NGO for a little longer. I want to continue sharing with them and to learn as well because I am learning a lot from the little ones. In the long term, I want to continue supporting my siblings, I hope to open my own business which would make it easier to support my siblings.
And what are your plans for your entrepreneurship, in what field is it?
It’s in the career that studied, which is imports.
Do you feel that what you are doing in the NGO is like a hobby?
Is it something that you get paid for, but you love to do it?
I think it’s more than a job, it’s like I don’t know, my second home now.
So, these are all the questions I had for you, I don’t know if you want to comment on something else?
Great! I would like to take advantage and thank Mosqoy once again. Even after finishing my studies, I am still in touch with the new coordinators, they have invited me to tell them about my experience after Mosqoy. I would also like to thank LAFF for the support they gave us back in the d
ay and it’s truly wonderful to know that they continue to give that kind of support to others because there really are people who need it, and there are people who will make the most of it.
Based on your experience in the Mosqoy NGO, what do you think they should improve at after your experience of all these years?
Improve?, I think to be more careful giving psychological support, many of the girls come from dysfunctional families, a lot of things has happened to these girls, as women sometimes we live in a very sexist society that makes us feel we won’t be able to accomplish anything.
You think they should implement more
Yes, so that can improve emotionally and regain confidence which can really help them ta
ke advantage of the opportunity in a better way. Sometimes I saw the other girls unable to come out of the mindset that their parents had put in their head, that they are not going to achieve anything, especially as a woman. Don’t get me wrong they did support us at the time and they were always looking out for us. But I don’t know they could implement some other things to make the program better.
Thank you very much Clayda!