Awamaki

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

Links:

Feb 4, 2013

Supporting Girls' Leadership

New supplies
New supplies

Dear GlobalGiving donors,

Thank you so much for your donation to Awamaki girls' leadership program. We are currently working to secure start-up funding for the program; your donations will help us to offer this programming to the teenage daughters of our cooperative.

In the meantime, we continue to support the girls in small ways, including handing out school supplies to their mothers during a recent meeting. School is starting soon in Patacancha, and while schooling is free, supplies can be very expensive for poor families and one of the many barriers to girls completing high school. Your donation allows us to help families support their girls' schooling school.

Please see the attached photos of Mercedes, our Women's Cooperatives Coordinator, handing out school supplies to the women of the Patacancha weaving cooperative.

Mercedes distributing supplies
Mercedes distributing supplies
School Supplies
School Supplies

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