From G.E.S., we continue to heavily advance in the Social Protection project in the locality of San Pedro, Jujuy in which we approach, together with the Ministry of Social Development of the Nation, the direct work with families in situations of vulnerability to together develop a process of empowerment that allows them to overcome situations of exclusion and indigence. Also, from this project, we joined with social and community organizations of these territories, establishing spaces of dialogue and management that promote local development and social promotion.
In this context, we talked with Juanse Mamani, radiologist and promoter of our project in San Pedro, who expressed to us the importance of the established bond of trust with families after the first introduction. The relations flowed normally and we were satisfied with the joint work.
G.E.S.: What are the challenges and problems that could be identified in the neighborhoods of 25 de Mayo, Néstor Kirchner, and Presidente Perón where they carry out interventions? What are the main demands of the families?
JUANSE: Being neighborhoods that were formed a few years ago, the common factor among settlements is the lack of some basic services such as drinking water, sewers, and natural gas. For example, in the neighborhood 25 de Mayo, the electricity is communal and consumption is financed by the municipality of San Pedro. In the neighborhood Néstor Kirchner, the problems perceived and expressed by the families revolve around the same necessities in terms of the services, but we also note the lack of contact, bond, and neighborhood cooperation. Also, an emergent problem is the consumption and substance abuse of drugs. With similar problems, we detected that in the neighborhood Presidente Perón, there were some families composed of people with disabilities who lacked benefits, such as such as a disability pension, that we were able to link with the respective agency for dealing with the corresponding benefit. Also, we have detected, in families, people with chronic illnesses to which we facilitate the obtaining of shifts for the respective medical controls. The families of these three neighborhoods lack the title of the land where they have settled their homes, which is also a matter of concern.
A recurrent demand of all families is related to solving the problem of drug dependence given the strong increase of drug consumption and the multiplication of points of sale in these neighborhoods, a situation that also generates insecurity and frequents thieves.
Another need that the families express is greater lighting, plant maintenance, and environmental sanitation. Given the precariousness of the buildings, there are many families that do not have bathrooms in their homes, making improvised use of tarps, sheets, or shallow wells. In some cases, neighbors share a bathroom.
It is also very important to build educational spaces (there are currently no schools), eliminating the need to send children to schools far away from home, which represents an extra expense, as they do not have collective urban relocation.
One of the challenges with which we find is to orient these households, mostly single parents (single mothers, adolescents with incomplete schooling, victims of family violence), so that they can be included in the education and labor system. In this sense, the promoters do a personalized monitoring and work with these people through various workshops to raise awareness about their reproductive health and prevention of child malnutrition.
Juanse Mamani: “The first contact with the vast majority of families was very well accepted.”
G.E.S.: How many community organizations, agencies, and institutions have been able to articulate up to this point the terms of these demands?
JUANSE: Since we began to implement the project, we have a collaboration with the Secretariat for Human Development of the Municipality of San Pedro. We are also working on an action plan in conjunction with other areas of the municipality such as: sports, land and housing, employment and training, the Primary Healthcare sector at Paterson Hospital, and other local NGOs.
G.E.S.: What would you like to achieve after the implementation of this program in the City of San Pedro?
JUANSE: I would like to not be alone in this project, it is essential to continue working so that they can continue to receive the needed support and containment.
Juanse considers the team of interdisciplinary work essential to this project, which in the city of San Pedro is implemented by a coordinator and ten social promoters. All of them are professionals from various areas (social workers, health workers, and psychologists). Moreover, he sees the benefit that the program is not only an economic aid destined to cover the basic food needs, but also to start a path of social inclusion for the families.
In his view, one of the aspects that could be improved was the number of families reached, which he considered insufficient. On the other hand, although the participating families were well selected according to the surveys conducted in the first phase of the project, those who had children of schooling age should have been prioritized.