MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

MADRE's mission is to advance women's human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives. MADRE's vision is enacted with an understanding of the inter-relationships between the various issues we address and by a commitment to working in partnership with women at the local, regional and international levels who share our go...
Jun 3, 2015

Indigenous Women Mobilize in Nepal

Thanks to MADRE member support, we continue to respond to the devastating earthquakes that have rocked Nepal.

Two of our on-the-ground Indigenous partners are The Himalayan Grassroots Women’s Natural Resource Management Association (HIMAWANTI) and the National Indigenous Women's Forum (NIWF).

Together, we're delivering lifesaving aid to remote Indigenous communities off the radar of the large relief efforts. Without our grassroots partners, many of these communities would have no other sources of humanitarian relief. And now, these already weakened communities are at high risk of even more devastation as the monsoon season fast approaches.

MADRE has been in constant contact with our local partners, receiving first-hand updates of the needs on the ground. We just received a report from HIMAWANTI on their progress. They have delivered tents, blankets, soaps, water purifiers and first aid kits. They made sure that the most vulnerable people – like pregnant women, new mothers and disabled persons – receive these vital supplies.

And NIWF told us that MADRE support has brought tents, mattresses, food, clean water purifiers, feminine hygiene supplies and health kits to Indigenous families in the hardest hit areas of Nepal.

Here are two photos from NIWF’s aid distribution. Thank you for the lifesaving work you are making possible for Indigenous women and families in Nepal!

Links:

May 26, 2015

Updates from the April Farmers Market

(c) Wangki Tangni
(c) Wangki Tangni

Last month, with your support MADRE’s partners at Wangki Tangni organized a farmers market for Indigenous women farmers to sell their surplus produce. Eighty women farmers attended the fair, 60 from the community of Kisalaya and 20 from other communities along the Coco River.


The farmers markets offer a vital source of income for these women and their families. With the money the women farmers earn from selling their produce, they can buy necessities for their children, like shoes, clothes and school books. For example, last year, Albertina, a woman from Kisalaya earned enough money through the MADRE-supported farmers markets that she is now sending her children to school! Thank you for making this possible!


Here are a few photos from the April farmers market.

(c) Wangki Tangni
(c) Wangki Tangni
(c) Wangki Tangni
(c) Wangki Tangni
May 26, 2015

The Power of Sharing our Stories

Diana demonstrates how to use digital recorders
Diana demonstrates how to use digital recorders

The Indigenous Women's Forum is an annual gathering organized by Wangki Tangni, MADRE's partner organization in Nicaragua. It's a time where Indigenous women living along the North Atlantic Coast come together to discuss the main issues and challenges they face, including violence against women. At the latest forum, MADRE's Communications Director, Diana Duarte, led a training for 17 "comunicadoras", or communicators -- grassroots volunteers with Wangki Tangni. The communications training showed these women how to document stories and capture interviews to amplify the voices of their communities. The skills they learned in this training will be very beneficial to the radio program MADRE runs with Wangki Tangni. Here's Diana's reflections on the training: 

The Power of Sharing our Stories

I believe in the power of a story to move, motivate and mobilize. Which I suppose makes it no great surprise that communications is so tightly linked to my activism.

When I went to Nicaragua for our partner’s annual Indigenous Women’s Forum, I had a specific agenda in mind. There were 1,000 participants there, but there were 17 in particular I’d like to tell you about. They are a group of young women called the “comunicadoras,” or communicators. As volunteers with Wangki Tangni, our sister organization, they lend their time and energy to grassroots organizing. And they had their hands full helping to make the Forum happen.

These comunicadoras saw the power of the Forum, and they wanted to capture it. They wanted to document it so that the lessons of the Forum could live on beyond its four days. And they wanted to build their own skills to amplify their stories and the voices of their communities.

During the Forum, I held a series of communications workshops. Together, we got up early and stayed up late to make sure we had enough time. MADRE provided Wangki Tangni with a set of digital voice recorders, and I showed the comunicadoras how to use these tools to conduct interviews and record the Forum’s valuable discussions. Through the days of workshops, we also talked about how to take powerful photos and how to craft impactful messages.

Most importantly, we talked about the stories that drive their activism. They shared stories about the violence that women in their commmunities face. They spoke of the need to create possibilities for young girls instead of selling them into marriage. We talked about their fears at the environmental degradation triggered by industrial agriculture encroaching on Indigenous territories. These conversations would often turn into debates, as they mulled over the best solutions they could offer.

At the end of the workshops, I was honored to give each of them a certificate marking the effort they had made and the skills they had built. And I know that their debates and storytelling will continue.

The "comunicadoras" in action
The "comunicadoras" in action
The "comunicadoras" with their certificates
The "comunicadoras" with their certificates

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