a good student, passed through our system and went on to graduate
from Peruvian public school by 2011.
dream was to one day open he own restaurant. We offered to sponsor
her in an international trade school, (gifted to Peru by the European
Community), to studying catering management.
performed well in both the classroom and on-the-job practising parts
of the course. In 2014 she completed the course and was given an
informal document stating that she had completed in the top ten
percent of the class, and that she was entitled to receive both
a diploma and a Catering Management Licence.
a job as assistant manager of a fast food franchisee, and she returned
regularly to the trade school administrative office for her diploma
and license. They always had a new reason why she would have to
return yet again, that "her documents were not yet ready".
After six months of trying on her own, she asked if we could help.
On her first
visit to the people she knew at the trade school, our project manager
quickly realised that Jocelyn's impediment was that she had failed
to offer a bribe, to make her documents materialise. The same now
would apply to our project director, only the required bribe just
got more expensive.
Our NGO has participated for decades in an international Transparency
TRUST, and we therefore could not offer the simple solution
that would produce poor Jocelyn's documents. Instead we attempted
to persuade the administrator, cajole her, go over her head to her
male supervisor - which proved anti productive. We considered the
possible merits of going to the press, the law, politicians. In
a thoroughly corrupt society - which, sadly, is the condition in
most developing countries - such actions could easily have backfired
and Jocelyn would never receive her diploma and licence.
eighteen months we vouched for Jocelyn whenever she needed to present
her bona fides to her employer. At the same time we made of ourselves
a daily polite nuisance to the trade school administrator. Until
one day in July, 2016 Jocelyn was invited to come pick up her documents.
Charo, our project director, accompnied her.