Kevin Maina/YTICA.

Kevin Maina/YTICA.

“I became aware of the training through the Unity Women's Desk of the Moravian Church, where I volunteer,” Vela said. “They explained to me that the training would allow me to reinforce previous learning in gender studies, human rights in spaces of faith, and women's rights.”

The training, mostly recently held in November 2023, brings together participants from different parts of the world—a global aspect Vela liked.

“In addition, we would have the opportunity to participate in the United Nations mechanisms and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,” she said. “What inspired me most about the training were the participants.”

Topics were also discussed by specialists—which was important to Vela—but what she valued most was the opportunity to share and learn from her peers and colleagues.

“Each of them comes from different parts of the world, from different cultural environments and that was enriching,” she said. “Listening to their personal stories and their work as advocates motivated me to give importance to my work.”

Since then, Vela has strengthened her work related to women’s rights.

“I am giving online sexual prevention workshops for young people and adults of the Moravian Church in Latin America,” she said. “It is pleasing to have the participation of young people and leaders, who want the church to be a safe space for everyone.”

Her goal is for the message to be shared by people who are agents of change.

“As a social communicator I have a personal project, where I will be making video reports for social media,” she said. “Through these videos, I will communicate situations that violate the rights of women and girls.”

She wants to make society aware that violence should not be normalized—and should be reported.

She was also admitted into the Women’s Parliament, an initiative of the Congress of the Republic of Peru that encouraged political participation from women. “It is possible that in May we will have our first meeting in Congress,” she said. “We are a large group in Lima with different professional careers, but with the same conviction—defending the rights of women and girls in Peru.”

2024 marks the 10th anniversary of the Women’s Human Rights Advocacy Training. This year the training is scheduled for October 14-18; costs still to be determined. To express interest, contact Rev. Nicole Ashwood via [email protected].