In Nicaragua, particularly in the north of the country, one of the few employment opportunities is to become a policeman or policewoman. In addition to fighting against the city's criminals, they carry out other work, such as fighting against drug trafficking. All of this means taking great risks and even death, as we hear from the young widow.
Zobeyda at SOS Social Centre Estelí
My name is Zobeyda del Socorro Acuña. I'm 23 and I come from Estelí. When I was 19, I got married to Moisés Zamora Herrera, who was 21 at the time. He was a responsible and loving person, who was completely devoted to his family. Moisés was a policeman in Estelí and put his life at risk on a daily basis. Nine months after we got married, I got pregnant and had a son, Kelvin Brayan Zamora, who is now three years old. I was delighted to be pregnant because I knew and trusted that my husband was prepared to care for us for life, but about nine months later something that could not have been foreseen happened... he had an accident at home and died. He was cleaning his gun – the very same one that he had been given by the police. He hadn't realised that it was loaded and in a moment of carelessness he fired the gun. The bullet hit him in the chest and he died almost immediately.
From the moment he died, I went through hell, simply because I felt left to my own devices and unprotected. I had never worked and did not know how to face up to life alone with a nine-month-old son. My great worry was how I was going to manage without any type of financial support, since the only one who had helped me had gone and was never going to come back. All I thought about was killing both me and my son Kelvin, as I didn't think there was any way out. Thank God I had my son at the SOS Social Centre Estelí Este, where I found help. Jazmina, the director of the centre, and Emma, one of the carers, told me how to gain financial support.
Zobeyda and two children
I now receive financial support as a mother and have been working at the centre for almost three years. My colleagues and I have fun together and caring for the little babies that are brought to us each day by mothers who work all day takes our minds off our daily worries. We provide the children with very special care. I recognise that the training on self-esteem has helped me greatly and I realise that I can now move forwards on my own. The courses on baking and pastry making have also helped me to realise that there is the possibility that I will be able to set up a business one day, and that I can be very useful to society.
I think that without the help of those who work at the SOS Social Centre I would not be here today to talk to you about my dramatic past. I have had some difficult experiences, but I now want to be a professional. At the moment, this is my only goal. I could have never even imagined that before!
I am thankful to all those people who have helped me to move forwards either directly or indirectly. I hope that the project expands and that it helps all those women who have had similar experiences. I know that there are a lot of people here who are living in similar circumstances to the way my life was. That's why I feel very lucky to be able to work and help out at SOS Social Centre Estelí Este.