MuJER

MuJER is dedicated the promotion of women's rights through education, awareness, and community organizing. Our mission is to empower women sex workers to become socially and politically active by offering programs that range from literacy and vocational training to emotional well-being and violence prevention. With education, specialized skills, and leadership development, MUJER enables women sex workers to find economic and emotional stability, have a voice in society, and better their own lives and the lives of their children.

MuJER
One LMU Drive
% Jodi Finkel Loyola Marymount Univ
Los Angeles, California 90045
United States
2098677375
http://www.mujerguatemala.org

Board of Directors

Jodi Finkel, Hugo Torres, Jessica Osorio, Maya Paley

Project Leaders

Jessica Osorio

Mission

MuJER is dedicated the promotion of women's rights through education, awareness, and community organizing. Our mission is to empower women sex workers to become socially and politically active by offering programs that range from literacy and vocational training to emotional well-being and violence prevention. With education, specialized skills, and leadership development, MUJER enables women sex workers to find economic and emotional stability, have a voice in society, and better their own lives and the lives of their children.

Programs

Microenterprise Development: MuJER offers two programs, jewelry-making and embroidery, that enable women to start small businesses, provides them with incrasing confidence in their talents, and offers them supplemental income and safer employment. Computer Skills Course: Our computer classes are designed to teach the women basic computer competencies, including Windows, Microsoft Word, and Internet skills. With such knowledge, the women are able to market their skills in professional settings. They also gain confidence in utilizing new modes of technology. These free computer classes are one of MuJER's most widely-attended offerings. We offer beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes and classes are scheduled 3 times weekly. We have a wait-list of women seeking to enroll in these classes, but are limited by the number of laptops we have. The MuJER Course of Beauty: Our beauty course provides our women with the opportunity to learn the basics of manicures, facials, and hairstyling. Through our partnership with Junkabal, a womens vocational school, we offer a three-part course which not only trains participants in beauty skills,but also includes classes in small business management and human resources for entrepreneurs. We provided scholarships for two women from our community to study at Junkabal, and we have now hired them as teachers for beauty classes held at our Empowerment Center. English Classes: In a globalized economy, a second language opens the door to many opportunities MuJER offers two levels on English classes, beginning and intermediate. Our classes are taught by a volunteer professional English instructor as well as by our interns (who are native English speakers). The classes, which focus on basic conversation, are intended to enable women to find work in the well-paid tourist sector. Sewing & Tailoring (in development) Stitching your way out of poverty: Many woman have expressed an interest in learning to make clothes/and or work as a tailor. In response, we plan to develop a new sewing and tailoring vocational class. We are currently sending Susi Sika, our initial inspiration for starting MuJER, to a Sewing and Tailoring program at a professional school. We hope that as she develops her expertise, she will be able to assist us in the development of our own program. Reading is Power (Leer es Poder), MuJER's Literacy Program: The Leer es Poder project is the backbone of MuJER's programs. This basic literacy class was the first class offered by MuJER, and has continued to serve as the first step toward the self-empowerment of our women. We partner with Guatemala's national literacy program and provide one-on-one literacy training. The personal attention each woman receives in this program is essential to their success. It not only allows the women to leave the program with the ability to read and write, but also with the self-confidence to take full advantages of the other programs MuJER offers. Classes are held at MuJER's workshop center on a weekly basis, and are completely free of charge for the women. Accelerated Elementary School: MuJER also enables the women to complete elementary school (grades 3-6). The completion of this course is a significant achievement for the women, many of whom were either unable to complete elementary school or to attend school at all. Upon completing each grade level, our participants receive certificates documenting their newly attained elementary school level. Classes are conducted in small groups, take place once a week, and are free of charge. With the elementary school diploma, MuJER's students become eligible to pursue a high school diploma. Lending Library: We have established a lending library of over 300 books at our Empowerment Center. Many of the books are for children and women may check them out to read to their children at home. Women bring their children with them to the Center and we allow their children to pick books to check as well. In order to get women in the habit of reading to their children, we are developing a "Mommy and Me" reading program. An instructor would guide mothers and children in reading a book and the children would then participate in a creative activity related to the story.

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