The implementation of the PCV project in Latin America, between remote working and team spirit

Diana Carvajal

Latin America


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The first months of my mandate as Regional Manager in Latin America overlapped with the initial implementation activities of the PCV project. In the weeks that followed, I had the pleasure of meeting - virtually, because of the pandemic - some old and new project partners and helping to lay the foundations for the implementation of this new IBCR program.

Being in my fourth mandate - I had previously participated three times in the PCV project - I have experienced brand new challenges, including remote working, but most of all, I have rediscovered the joy of working a second time within a committed, collaborative, and jovial team.

The PCV partners in Latin America are organizations operating in Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Peru. Since developing trust is at the heart of the project's implementation, it was essential to build a relationship with our partners. During this pandemic period, videoconferencing tools have greatly helped me to overcome the obstacles of confinement and to find new ways to collaborate. In just a few weeks, I have been able to confirm the commitment of people driven by the best interest of the child and who contribute every day to the societal changes needed to improve the protection of children's rights in their countries.  

Collaboration with an international organization offers multiple opportunities for partner organizations to build capacity in their very diverse areas of involvement, such as providing attention to victims of gender-based violence, transforming situations created by the recruitment and involvement of children in armed groups, combating sexual exploitation and human trafficking, promoting the empowerment of economically disadvantaged teenagers and, more broadly, the elimination of all forms of violence against children. The volunteer cooperation program, already familiar to some partners, can raise high expectations among them. Therefore, I keep an attentive ear to their needs, priorities, and concerns, so that the IBCR volunteers' actions become part of a sustainable perspective.

Though the sanitary emergency, declared in most of the countries of operation, did not allow us to carry out missions in the field, this has not stopped me from exchanging with potential new partners. Their enthusiastic feedback leads me to believe that the PCV can really create spaces where together we could improve national child protection systems.

I learn every day a bit more about international cooperation, local needs in Central and South America, and methodologies to improve processes. Of course, all this work is carried out by a team in a collaborative manner.

Long-distance planning, lockdowns, and weeks of intense work led frequently to Fridays full of giggles. I hope to soon get to meet face-to-face with our local partners and my colleagues far away, in Montreal and Africa. But most of all, I look forward to seeing our first volunteers arrive in the field and begin seven years of an innovative and - I am positive - prolific collaboration with partners firmly committed to child protection.

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Volunteer cooperation program funded by Global Affairs Canada.