Awamaki

Awamaki collaborates with the greater Ollantaytambo community to create economic opportunities and improve social well-being.
Jul 18, 2012

Patient Empowerment II

Alex and volunteer Natasha in the sun
Alex and volunteer Natasha in the sun

Dear supporters,

Thank you for your help and support with our disabilities program in the Sacred Valley region of Peru.  We have really appreciated your efforts in backing our endeavors to improve the lives of disabled people in the Sacred Valley.

As you know from prior reports, we are seeking for sustainable long-term solutions for each of our patients to ensure they will still receive the care and support they need as we work towards broader goals of improved rural health in general. As follows is an update about the situation and progress with each of our program participants.

We have three patients with whom we are currently working. Roxanna is 11 years old and has been diagnosed with epilepsy. Her family cannot afford the seizure medication needed to manage her seizures. Therefore she is unable to attend the local school because the teacher does not know how to handle the situation. We are working towards enrolling Roxanna in a school specialized for children with disabilities. Attending this school will enable Roxanna to receive the specialized care and attention she needs to succeed in school.

Alex is 13 years old and has cerebral palsy. He currently stays at home in his bed all day because his family has to work and he has no other means of transportation. We are in the process of securing a firmer mattress to increase his back support and enforce better bed railings to ensure his safety. We are also partnering with another organization, MySmallHelp, to obtain a wheelchair that can be fitted to Alex specifically in the hopes of transporting him to the school specializing in children with disabilities.

Jose is 20 years old and has cerebral palsy as well. He has great family support but his mother is a single working mom and both his siblings attend school during the day, so he stays home alone usually. Unfortunately due to his age, the school for children with disabilities is hesitant to enroll him in their program. However, they have an outreach program for children unable to attend the school. We are in the process of working with the school to have Jose be a part of the outreach program and receive more care and therapy.

We are close to reaching sustainable long-term solutions for each of our patients; we estimate that transportation for meetings with the schools and visits to make these plans, and the construction of Alex's bed rails will cost only an additional $200 over the next three months. (We are revising our project goal accordingly!)

We appreciate your continued interest, help and support with the disability aid project. With your help and support we have been able to impact our patients' lives in very positive ways. We really appreciate it and please don't hesitate to email us at (health@awamaki.org) if you have any further questions about the future of our program!

Volunteer Ruth reading to Jose
Volunteer Ruth reading to Jose
Jun 11, 2012

Production and Program Evolution

Courtney and Knitters Tackle Knitwear
Courtney and Knitters Tackle Knitwear

Since our Season 2 Launch this January, we have been busy selling, producing, and refining our Awamaki Lab products to bolster support for our Ollanta cooperatives.  In February, the Lab team hosted a series of trunk shows across the U.S., connecting with networks of friends and family, and former Awamaki volunteers to facilitate direct-to-customer sales.  With the assistance of Awamaki’s U.S. board, we will be expanding this traveling sales model in the coming months to work towards a more cost-effective and lean manufacturing system.  We will keep you posted on any upcoming events through our blog!

Those early quarter sales, along with your generous donations, have provided us with the capital needed to delve into capacity building and to begin our first season of production. Season Two designers Andria and Courtney have returned Peru to work alongside Awamaki’s seamstresses and knitters to oversee the completion of S2 orders.  Our Women's Cooperartive staff continues to provide great insight into ways we can iterate and amend our program to achieve our mission through thoughtful, collaborative product development.  This year, we’ll be developing classic, functional accessories that carefully utilize cooperative members’ skills, to improve communication and integration of our weavers, knitters and seamstresses. 

We look forward to keeping you posted on weekly blog updates.  

Measuring textiles for use in Lab garments
Measuring textiles for use in Lab garments
Weaving Pasadizos For Sewn Products
Weaving Pasadizos For Sewn Products
Exploring Accessory Options
Exploring Accessory Options
Seamstresses Working On Production
Seamstresses Working On Production
Florentina Finishing Lab Garment
Florentina Finishing Lab Garment

Links:

Jun 6, 2012

Graduation!

Practice Training Session
Practice Training Session

Congratulations to Maritza, Anita, Abigail, Roxana, Ruth, Giovana, Jenny, Silvia, Yesica, Mery, Luz Marina, and Luz Delia!

After completing six months and over 440 hours of intensive training in Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru, last Friday the twelve teachers of the Awamaki Language Center graduated from their training course.  We celebrated their hard work and perseverance with a lively party where many people made speeches, recounted memories, and shared hopes for the future.  With a lot of laughter and a few tears, we congratulated each of the women for the incredible determination they have demonstrated as well as the way they have supported one another in their path toward becoming Spanish Teachers, and awarded them certificates of achievement. For most, this is the first higher-education course they have completed.

Now, the new teachers are ready to put their training into action in order to begin earning a higher income to support themselves and their children. In the next two weeks, each teacher will begin offering Spanish classes to volunteers and tourists in Ollantaytambo. They will work flexible hours and earn a very competitive wage for their work. This economic opportunity will enable them to fulfill both the important family roles they hold and to improve their families' financial and social well-being.

In this moment of accomplishment, we most of all want to thank each of you who have supported this project. Funding for the training has been raised entirely through the GlobalGiving site. Your generosity has also supported much of the ongoing costs of construction and renovation of the classrooms the teachers use.

As the new teachers begin their classes, we will use the funds raised through this page to continue improving the teacher's classrooms and fund their additional trainings in teaching methods, cooperative management, and life skills. Once the teachers are teaching, they will recieve ongoing support improving their teaching methods and troubleshooting any problems they encounter in the classroom. Next steps include offering the additional trainings they need to successfully manage their teachers' cooperative and finances, including computer and business skills training; and the life skills curriculum Awamaki is developing for all its cooperatives that will help the women improve thier and their families' well-being through trainings in family health, nutrition, parenting, financial savings and other vital skills. This comprehensive approach will allow the women to gain the skills and financial independence they need to provide a better life for themselves and their families.

We thank you for your continued support and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.

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