Awamaki

Awamaki collaborates with the greater Ollantaytambo community to create economic opportunities and improve social well-being.
Mar 27, 2013

More Improvements from Awamaki's Teachers!

Spanish Teachers
Spanish Teachers

Since our last update, the women of Awamaki’s Spanish teachers cooperative have continued to improve their teaching skills, and are constantly looking for ways to expand the success of their cooperative.  In the past few months, the women have opened new lines of communication between themselves and their students in an effort to identify gaps in both their teaching style and their curriculum.  Together, the women have decided to create evaluations to distribute to their students through which the women hope to learn new ways they can improve their classes. A tight knit group, the women of the Spanish teacher’s cooperative work very well together, and because of this they have been able to come up with some really effective ideas and plans of action over the past few months.

Alongside of their teaching commitments, the women of the cooperative have also been participating in computer and English classes held here at the Awamaki office in Ollantaytambo every week.  As the women themselves work to improve their technical and idiomatic skills, they can continue to become qualified teachers with the appropriate knowledge needed to educate others.  With your support, capacity building and skills training will remain successful and thriving, and the women of the cooperative can keep on building blocks of success for the future.

Goals for the women are always adding up, and at last week’s meeting the teachers expressed their interest in learning to teach Quechua so that they can teach others interested in learning their native language.  The cooperative also hopes to gain some basic marketing skills so that they can begin to promote their own classes and programs.  Most of the women in the cooperative agreed that what they need right now is support from the staff and volunteers at Awamaki; support that will allow them to develop their own outreach strategies and expand their teaching efforts into niche markets in Ollantaytambo, such as Quechua.  Skills, like those of marketing, will put power in the hands of the women, allowing them to make their own decisions and eventually assume complete responsibility of the cooperative.

The considerable successes for Awamaki’s Spanish teachers cooperative would not be possible without the kind and continued support of the organization’s donors.  Awamaki’s GlobalGiving donors have aided the development of the cooperative, and now with continued giving will be supporting improvements and advanced skills training amongst the women involved.  Each dollar donated positively impacts the women’s lives in a profound way, and allows them to develop expertise of their own that will help them continue to support themselves, their family and their community!

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Feb 22, 2013

"Hello, how are you?" and other achievements

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of Awamaki Lab. This project teaches women the skills they need to create and produce fashionable, unique products for sale in international markets. 
The past three months have been big for Awamaki Lab. Since the start of the project, Awamaki has provided the three women with training in sewing and beginning patternmaking, and a teacher. In October, with more than a year of training under their belts our three seamstresses started preparing to fly solo. 
Justa, Florentina, and Estella have made huge strides in their sewing education this year beginning in May when they started learning to sew complicated clothing. In the past few months, the women have begun to take on more responsibilities on the administrative side of things. Awamaki's sewing cooperative works with two other cooperatives of women weavers in the Andean Highlands who produce the beautiful hand spun, dyed, and woven textiles that are used by the seamstresses to create clothing and accessories. In the past few months, Awamaki has been working with the seamstresses and teaching them how prepare for upcoming orders by calculating materials needs and placing orders for textiles with our weaving communities. In October, the seamstresses visited the weaving community of Patacancha to talk to them about the importance of weaving to precise measurements and using quality finishing techniques. It was great to see the two communities interacting and explaining their sides of the process.
As always, Awamaki cooperative members are invited to participate in free computer and English classes at Awamaki. The seamstresses have become some of our most dedicated English students and even bought their own English Class CD's to listen to while they sew. Everytime an international staff member or volunteer enters their studio they now say, "Hello, how are you?" in English. 
This January, Founder and Director Annie Millican returns to NYC to assist in Artisan Resource, an international trade show that will promote the work of the women's cooperatives.  She has handed over on-site project management to seamstresses and local staff, as part of the continued effort to enable artisan partners to have greater ownership over their work.

This video was created by volunteer Leva Kwestany and shows how things work at Awamaki from ideas to product development. Please check it out!

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Feb 5, 2013

New direction for leadership project

Dear supporters,

I am writing you to inform you of an important update to our Girls' Leadership Project. We have decided that we will not be continuing to raise funds for this project at this time, and we will be temporarily suspending the project. This is for two reasons.

First, we lack the startup funds. The nature of this project is that we will need most of the funding goal reached just to start it; we are unwilling to begin a program with teenage girls when we are unsure we have the funds to complete it. With some of our other projects, the few donations we receive would enable us to still carry out a corresponding level of programmatic activity, but that isn't the case with this project--it is all or nothing.

Secondly, and most importantly, we have just received an unexpected two-year grant for support in other trainings, including leadership training for our cooperatives. (This was unexpected because we thought the application was a long shot!) We are a small organization, and this is the largest grant we have ever recieved by a factor of about 150. It will be a serious responsibility and require all our energies to manage properly. We feel that fundraising for and launching a new girls' program would be too much for our small staff to carry out at the same time as this other new training program. Moreover, both programs would be too much to introduce to the cooperatives at once.

Equipping Quechua girls to be leaders remains necessary for the long-term sustainability of our cooperatives, as well as necessary for the future health and economic success of their community. The girls will be included and specially supported in the leadership training that the abovementioned grant funds. It is likely that we will revisit the project at the end of this year or the following year. In the meantime we will use the donations from this project to support the girls' participation in all-cooperative leadership training.

I appreciate your understanding as we make the difficult strategic decisions that will ensure Awamaki's long-term health and ultimately allow us to create a greater positive impact for the Quechua women, girls and communities that we serve. Please do not hesitate to contact us at info@awamaki.org with any further questions.

If you are interested in supporting or following our other work, please see our other active GlobalGiving projects:

Training Women to Teach Spanish

Empowering Women through Design

Capacity-Building for Rural Women Artisans

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