Teachers from Awamaki's Spanish Teacher Cooperative have been working hard, leading Spanish lessons for all of Awamaki's new volunteers and a good number of the tourists who pass through Ollantaytambo. Pictured above is Eunhae and Ruth. Eunhae, from South Korea and currently studying at Bryn Mawr College is one of Awamaki's newest volunteers in the Community Education program, and Ruth is her Spanish teacher. Eunhae and Ruth have been hitting the road in Peru lately, exploring the Sacred Valley and speaking Spanish as they go!
Like Ruth, all of Awamaki’s Spanish teachers are dedicated and passionate about teaching Spanish, and have been able to make their classes fun and unique because of all the support their project has received from donors like you! The more captivating the classes, the more people are interested in taking them, which leads to increased economic opportunities for the women.
Are you interested in continuing to support Awamaki's "Teach to Teach: Training Women to Teach Spanish" project? Donate this Wednesday, June 12th and take advantage of Global Giving's Donor Matching Day! All donations made on June 12th will be matched by Global Giving by 30%, but only until matching funds run out... so make sure to make your donation early in the morning!
And if we have the highest number of unique donors on Wednesday, we have the chance to win a $1,000 bonus from Global Giving, so even the smallest donations can make a huge difference to Spanish teachers like Ruth!
Thank you for your continued support. The wonderful work at Awamaki would not be possible without the generous donations from supporters like you! Keep track of our donation succes this Wednesday with us as we post updates to Facebook.
Awamaki is currently working with our ten spinners to teach felting. In the raw fleece that they spin, there are fibers that are too short for spinning. Until now, these fibers went unused. Felting with this leftover fiber allows the spinners to use waste material to make beautiful felted products they can sell.
From January to April, Awamaki hosted two Designer Residents, Joey Korein and Rosie Boycott-Brown, who led the felting project. Joey has a background in fiber arts and teaching, and Rosie in knitwear design. The two designers worked with Awamaki's hand-spinning cooperative in Huilloc to make felt and soft alpaca felted products with the waste fiber left-over from the spinning process. The spinners had never felted before, so Rosie and Joey developed products in order of difficulty and traveled to Huilloc weekly to teach the 10 women the steps for producing different types of felted designs.
The design workshops were accompanied by classes in product costing, given by the Awamaki team. In April, the spinning cooperative had the opportunity to meet Nicole Gulotta of Nomadic Thread Society in NYC. Nicole explained to them the process she goes through as an importer to give the women a better understanding of the chain of production.
Awamaki has already begun selling two of the felted products in our local store in Peru, and has received orders from Nomadic Thread Society for one product, felted baby booties. Awamaki plans to reinforce these new skills by continuing to bring designer residents to work with the cooperatives in Peru and improve the women's felting skills. Eventually, Awamaki and it's volunteers plan to teach the women to lead the product design process as well.
Income in the hands of women is the best way to lift communities out of poverty. The new skills that the ten women have learned empower them to be leaders and better care for their families and communities. As a successful social enterprise, most of Awamaki's core costs are covered by income from our programs, but the cost of workshops that teach new skills, like felting, are entirely funded by donations like the funds we receive through this GlobalGiving project.
Thank you so much for your support!
Since our last project report, Awamaki has been busy working with our artisan groups to improve their effectiveness as global pioneers, and leaders in their households and communities.
Awamaki is currently administering a pilot program of financial leadership workshops to the women of our knitting cooperative. The women of the cooperative currently lack basic financial knowledge and skills. Through these workshops, the women are learning skills such as how to use a bank account, the difference between formal and informal savings accounts, how to keep a household budget and what it means to be economically competitive in the global market. These skills allow the women to manage cooperative finances, which increases the sustainability and self-sufficiency of the cooperative. Awamaki is training several women from the knitting cooperative and once they complete the course, they in turn will teach financial management skills to the rest of the women in the cooperative.
Giving the knitters financial and leadership skills not only empowers them to manage the finances of the cooperative; it also allows them to make informed decisions for themselves and their families. Saving for the future, for things like education and medical bills, is not a common practice in rural Andean communities. However, as the women of Awamaki earn income through their participation in our programs, their new financial skills allow them to fully leverage their increased economic power for the long-term benefit of their families. These skills give them the knowledge and confidence they need to plan, budget, use banks and save.
Your support through GlobalGiving allows Awamaki to support the women of our cooperatives with skill building and knowledge training. Workshops like the financial leadership workshops translate directly into increased economic opportunities and a better life for the women and their families. Please stay tuned for more updates about our financial workshops!
Finally, if you have a mom in your life who embodies women’s empowerment, consider donating a Gift for Good for her this Mother’s Day. Donate to this project today and receive a hand woven, one-of-a-kind iPad case for your favorite mom!