Hello friends! Thank you for your support of our disabilities program in rural Peru. I am writing to update you about Awamaki's health and disabilities support program. We are currently in the midst of an exciting transition. Awamaki's health program has grown significantly, and we are focusing increasingly on the provision of health services to all the rural poor, not just the disabled. Local sustainability is a major priority as we move forwards, and we are thus shifting our disability program focus from patient care to patient empowerment.
This takes a unique form for each of our patients. After working with over ten patients in the region over time, we currently work with three patients. Jose, our oldest patient, is now twenty years old. Jose has cerebral palsy and is therefore confined to his wheelchair in his family’s one-room home. We are trying to connect him with a local support group. Alex, who was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy, has not been as lucky as Jose. Without a wheelchair, Alex is only able to leave his home and watch his beloved trains roll by to Machu Picchu on days when Awamaki volunteers visit. With sufficient funding, we can find a wheelchair and training for Alex and his family. Our third patient is an eleven-year-old girl named Roxanna. Roxanna was diagnosed with epilepsy and mental retardation as a child. Her fear of cars combined with her family’s remote residence has made getting Roxanna to school more difficult than we anticipated.
School remains a priority for Jose, Alex and Roxanna. Enrollment in a special-needs school in the next town is only the first step; funding (including your support and a three-way partnership with the municipality and another local non-profit) will provide transportation and tuition, and also enable us to see that they and their families can access the specific long-term care they require through the school. Our focus is on helping families create a long-term plan for their children in which they attend school and access care through not only their school but the health services that our growing program now provides to the general public. We will always be there for our special-needs program participants and their families, but we and their families believe this is a more sustainable, healthier and better long-term option for the children. Executing this plan is a tall order, but our dedicated volunteers and staff are ready to work tirelessly until that dream is realized!
Thank you for your continued support, and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this exciting transition!
Executive Director, Awamaki
To celebrate our sewing cooperative's ONE YEAR anniversary, we're hosting a fundraising shindig! Over the past 12 months, we've worked hard to create a supportive, dynamic studio environment where novice seamstresses, visiting designers, and sewing professionals can exchange knowledge, artistic viewpoints, and laughs. The studio has become a productive space for the communion of innovative design ideas, leading to mutual professional growth amongst Lab's participants. The cumulative effect of this has been the realization of one of our most important goals: the encouragement of women to develop the professional skills and self-esteem that will ultimately lead to social transformation. We want to keep at it! And we need your help. This year, we focus on continuing our skills-building (capacitaciones) pattern making program, to impart the technical construction skills required to engage our seamstresses in more active and purposeful design work. In doing so, we get to make you beautiful products that represent and valorize the work of indigenous and rural female artisans in Ollantaytambo.
On March 14th, GlobalGiving will match ALL donations by 30% - please consider parting with a few bucks, euros, soles, and we'll reciprocate by making you the most covetable, one-of-a-kind garments and accessories possible!
The twelve members of Awamaki’s newest women’s cooperative are making incredible strides in their training to become Spanish teachers! Last Friday, we celebrated the completion of their third segment of preparation with an incredible feast prepared by the women. As we enjoyed rocoto relleno, aji de gallina, and ocopa, the teachers-in-training shared their excitement and pride in their progress, and expressed heartfelt thanks to all those who have made this opportunity possible. Each participant in this capacitacion (training) has an extremely high level of commitment, and in the last month the women have even extended their class time each week to include an English course taught by Awamaki volunteers.
The women are growing in skills and confidence, and are excited for upcoming practice teaching sessions with volunteers. Additionally, plans are progressing well for the Awamaki Language Center—the name for our newly-formed Spanish school—which will be up and running in time for our high season this summer! We are certain that the demand for these Spanish courses will be extremely high, as we already have regular inquiries regarding Spanish instruction from volunteers and tourists alike.
We are incredibly grateful for your contributions to this effort; you are empowering this group of women to improve their economic and social wellbeing while providing an essential service to the Ollantaytambo community! Stay tuned for updates on the women’s progress, and keep us informed of any ideas you may have as we seek to empower this wonderful group of teachers!