Women Work Together

Mission Statement Women Work Together supports women and girls in highland Guatemala in their efforts toward gender equality, focusing on girls' access to education. Our mission is to raise the socio-economic status of Guatemalan women and girls by cultivating and strengthening their ability to work effectively in groups and aspire to leadership, thus accelerating positive changes in their lives and in their communities. We believe that the cycle of poverty and powerlessness endemic to rural Mayan women can be broken through systemic grassroots change that values and invests in girls' education and leadership. To accomplish this, we have taken an uncommon path in Latin America, partnering ...
Dec 23, 2014

Guatemalan Team Visits Boulder - Neither they nor we will ever be the same!

ADIMTU Team Members: Judith, Marla & Sussy
ADIMTU Team Members: Judith, Marla & Sussy

The five remarkable Guatemalan women who run our Girls Leadership Institute arrived in Boulder the day after Thanksgiving for a much-anticipated two week working visit. And what a visit it was!

This was the first time that so many of the players on both our U.S. and Guatemalan teams have all been at the same table. To no one’s surprise, we accomplished deeper work than ever on program and evaluation planning for 2015. We also made great progress on determining our strategy for creating a sustainable future for the Leadership Institute programs and for ADIMTU as a continuing grassroots force for change in San Pedro Sacatepéquez.

While in Boulder, the group had a chance to brief some of the leadership of the Global Education Fund on the growing impact of the Girls Leadership Institute and to personally thank them for their continued financial support. Similarly at Boulder’s First Congregational Church whose Board of Missions has also been a generous repeat funder.

Women Work Together hosted several informal gatherings for friends and supporters, all of whom came away inspired. At each get-together the ADIMTU team shared compelling stories, along with pictures and videos that made their work with the girls, their teachers and families, especially mothers, come alive.  They’d brought several moving examples of handmade books that the girls had written to illustrate what they'd learned and where they express their dreams for themselves and their country.  While those of us who could pitched in to help translate (none of the team are English-speakers), each woman’s passion for and commitment to this work came thru in every encounter.

The team visited several Boulder schools including Horizons K-8, the bilingual program at Casey Middle School, and an advanced Spanish class at Boulder High School. In each case, they were struck by the interactive relationships between students and teachers and how this stimulates, motivates, and involves students in their own learning. They also visited the University of Colorado, toured the Law School and other parts of the campus, and enjoyed the annual performance of The Nutcracker at Macky Auditorium. Many other experiences and adventures rounded out their visit, from hikes in the local foothills and the community experience of Boulder’s annual Parade of Lights to an excursion to the Denver Art Museum.

Worth noting: These five women embody the critical difference that educated women can make in creating a different future for Guatemala. They each grew up in nearby towns and villages. They are each the first women in their families to go to college and have careers, along with (some) being wives and mothers who are now motivating their own children to do the same. They are living models for the girls in our programs, demonstrating that the girls themselves can “be the change.”

Your financial support tips the scales in their favor. Thank you for your continued commitment.

When all was said and done, it was the people of Boulder who made the greatest impression on our partners and they on us. It’s with this in mind that we share with you the following informal comments from one of the team, expressed in her own words and in her own language, for those readers who read Spanish.

Mis Impresiones de Boulder – Comentario Individual

Alejandra Ramos, Agente de Cambio, ADIMTU

 Es difícil describir quince días de aprendizaje, conocimientos compartidos y vivencias extraordinarias.

Quedé sorprendida en cuanto al sistema en sí que tienen en Colorado, la autonomía que los caracteriza y les permite crear, generar y aplicar para el mejoramiento de sus mismas ciudades, como el caso de Boulder. De las experiencias que me impactaron fueron las siguientes:

Paisajes Quedé sorprendida de las montañas, la planicie del lugar, las calles amplias, los árboles (que aunque estén secos, los visualizaba en su pleno resplandor y me gustaban), la mañana del primer sábado en nuestra estancia allá en que salimos a caminar para conocer el hermoso lago, me enamoré de esas montañas y senderos y el amanecer lleno de color y viveza. El haber ido a las montañas y conocer una parte del interior o provincia de Boulder, conocer la nieve, disfrutar de ella, ver esquiar a las personas fue muy sorpresivo y llamativo para mí.

Cultura General La capacidad de las personas con las que interactúe, la facilidad que tienen de intercambiar conversaciones de todo ámbito de la vida, salud, recreación, política, educación, cultura, etc. Y esas mismas visiones durante todo el tiempo que estuvimos en Denver a mi en particular me permitieron disfrutar del Ballet de Los Cascanueces, que aunque ya lo había visto en otra oportunidad, esta vez fue con mayor escenografía, mas personajes, la elegancia de la orquesta siendo parte de la función. También el hecho de asistir al Museo de Arte, en donde no solo se aprecia y conoce el arte sino se interactúa con el arte, de donde extrajimos parte del artista que todos llevamos dentro, conocer y saber más sobre los indígenas, me permitió hacer comparaciones incluso con los mismos indígenas de Guatemala.

Educación Me gustó mucho asistir a escuelas del Estado, ver la infraestructura y recursos tecnológicos que tienen, pero principalmente la metodología participativa utilizada por las profesoras, y el nivel tan alto de intervención que los alumnos tienen, la opinión y análisis propio, el grado de confianza entre docente y alumno hasta el grado de confiar en el mismo alumno en que revisara su test de evaluación y tener el concepto de que no es necesario estresar al alumno pensando en un examen, para que éste aprenda sino que en la misma evaluación de contenido puede ser el momento para que aprenda. Ese pensamiento solo lo tienen los grandes educadores y los que en realidad han dejado atrás las clases tradicionales.

Presentaciones de Proyectos Cada vez que conocía a nuevos donantes pensaba: ¿Qué hacemos para recibir tantos beneficios de estas personas que tanto bien le han y nos han hecho a la comunidad en San Pedro Sacatepéquez? Y lo que era mejor, al momento de hablarles de los proyectos y cada una de las historias de las chicas, y ver los gestos y semblantes de aprobación y aceptación de los asistentes, me convencía cada vez más sobre los resultados alcanzados por ADIMTU, y a la vez me enorgullecía de mí misma por ser parte de esos resultados, y me permitió darme cuenta que nací y he crecido como lideresa en MTU que también yo he sido un piloto más, pero un piloto que ya está creciendo y debe seguir haciéndolo.

Equidad de Género Observar como realmente llevan a la práctica este tema, fue también interesante, pues al estar tan acostumbradas a un país machista y aún así tratar de ir cambiando generaciones a través de las chicas, el hecho de asistir a cenas por invitaciones especiales a las casas de miembros de la junta de WWT, lo primero que impactaron nuestros ojos es observar la integración que tienen los hombres en los oficios de la casa, especialmente en la cocina, el hecho de que sirvan la mesa y cocinen para su familia. Eso permite que las mujeres tengan las facilidades para un mejor desenvolvimiento académico profesional.

Concepto de dar y no acaparar El dar sin límites en las personas con quienes convivimos y que nos dijeron que era una característica del mismo Boulder, ese espíritu de solidaridad y humanitario y que desde pequeños inculcan eso en los niños de las escuelas o colegios, tal como lo observamos en chicos que recaudan donativos para dárselos a GEF, el solo hecho de que un buen porcentaje de con quienes convivimos forman parte de grupos de beneficencia social.

Profesional Muy contenta y agradecida por haberme hecho una cita con una abogada y profesora de leyes de la facultad de leyes de Wolf en Boulder, haber conocido las instalaciones, los recursos que utilizan, el pensum de estudios de la universidad. Quedé asombrada sobre el avance y la misma especialización que van creando en los alumnos para su formación. Esto me permite abrir las puertas para mi crecimiento intelectual y profesional.

Ah y la infraestructura o arquitectura de las casas, cada una con su particularidad pero con un diseño espectacular, acogedoras, bellas y únicas.

Finalmente estoy agradecida con WWT por la experiencia que me permitieron vivir y disfrutar y que a mis cortos años de edad sin la ayuda de uds hubiese sido difícil. Todas y todos nos trataron como reynas y esa esencia son únicamente uds los miembros y colaboradores de WWT quienes la tienen. Y como siempre decimos: De corazón a corazón muchas GRACIAS.

ADIMTU Team Members: Nancy & Alejandra
ADIMTU Team Members: Nancy & Alejandra
ADIMTU Team & Leaders of GEF
ADIMTU Team & Leaders of GEF
ADIMTU Team Visit Boulder High School
ADIMTU Team Visit Boulder High School
ADIMTU Team & Friends of WWT
ADIMTU Team & Friends of WWT

Links:

Sep 18, 2014

Evaluation Round #2 + Staff @ International Forum

Girls Learn to Plan and Present
Girls Learn to Plan and Present

Cycle 2 of Evaluation Set to Go

Like everyone else, we want to know whether our work is making a measurable difference in the lives of girls, families and communities in San Pedro Sacatepéquez. We also want to learn how we can do a better job of what we’re doing.

In January of this year we launched a systematic evaluation program to gather much-needed data to substantiate (or not) our working hypotheses, measure impacts, and help us improve our programs. The evaluation design and instruments, overseen by WWT Board member and volunteer Dr. RoseMarie Perez-Foster, Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado in Boulder, were developed in collaboration with our ADIMTU partners. The program is built around a pre/post test, control group design and includes collecting demographic data on both the girls and, to some extent, their families.

Combining the schools where Leadership Institute programs are offered and the control schools in which we do not offer these interventions, the evaluation team is collecting data on the better part of 1000 adolescent girls.

RoseMarie trained ADIMTU staff to collect the first cycle of data at the beginning of the school year (January-October in Guatemala). She’s mentored Advin Orozco Fuentes, an ADIMTU intern studying at the nearby national university and now-paid staffer, to manage the data collection, coding and entry. He recently traveled to Guatemala City for training by our consulting statistician, Dr. Meredith Fort. We’re so pleased about how Advin has grown into this job and has become an important member of the onsite evaluation team, a terrific unintended consequence of our work in San Pedro.

Right now the team is crunching cycle 1 data while preparing to administer cycle 2 of the assessment during October. We’re looking forward to sharing improved descriptive stats on the girls with you before the end of the year, followed by a more detailed report on program impacts and outcomes, ideally by February/March 2015.

ADIMTU Staff Attends II Foro Internacional

ADIMTU was honored to be invited and receive the funding necessary to participate in the Second International Forum sponsored by the Kenoli Foundation of Vancouver, B.C. and held in Honduras in September. The purpose of the Forum was to foster the exchange of knowledge, experience and outcomes among the 30 organizations from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua that receive funding from Kenoli. Of the 7 Guatemalan organizations attending, ADIMTU was the only one not yet funded by Kenoli, and was pleased to be introduced as a future partner.

Alejandra Ramos de León, an ADIMTU change agent who has been part of the Girls Leadership Program since its inception, ably represented ADIMTU there. Describing ADIMTU’s mission and programs, Alejandra both presented to the whole group and participated in small-group workshops. She also staffed a table where she had many good one-on-one conversations.

Alejandra reports that people’s response to ADIMTU’s work was very positive, especially among those representing other projects that address Childhood and Youth in Central America. She learned the ins and outs of preparing a successful proposal to Kenoli and what financial and program reporting and evaluation are required. She was especially pleased to report that, thanks to the hard work of their Board, ADIMTU is well-prepared to meet all such requirements for transparency and accountability.

You can count on it. Your generous donations are changing lives. Just ask our girls, their mothers and others in San Pedro Sacatepéquez. They all agree:  Educated Girls Change the Future.

ADIMTU @ International Forum in Honduras
ADIMTU @ International Forum in Honduras

Links:

Sep 18, 2014

Evaluation Round #2 + Staff @ International Forum

Girls Learn to Plan and Present
Girls Learn to Plan and Present

Cycle 2 of Evaluation Set to Go

Like everyone else, we want to know whether our work is making a measurable difference in the lives of girls, families and communities in San Pedro Sacatepéquez. We also want to learn how we can do a better job of what we’re doing.

In January of this year we launched a systematic evaluation program to gather much-needed data to substantiate (or not) our working hypotheses, measure impacts, and help us improve our programs. The evaluation design and instruments, overseen by WWT Board member and volunteer Dr. RoseMarie Perez-Foster, Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado in Boulder, were developed in collaboration with our ADIMTU partners. The program is built around a pre/post test, control group design and includes collecting demographic data on both the girls and, to some extent, their families.

Combining the schools where Leadership Institute programs are offered and the control schools in which we do not offer these interventions, the evaluation team is collecting data on the better part of 1000 adolescent girls.

RoseMarie trained ADIMTU staff to collect the first cycle of data at the beginning of the school year (January-October in Guatemala). She’s mentored Advin Orozco Fuentes, an ADIMTU intern studying at the nearby national university and now-paid staffer, to manage the data collection, coding and entry. He recently traveled to Guatemala City for training by our consulting statistician, Dr. Meredith Fort. We’re so pleased about how Advin has grown into this job and has become an important member of the onsite evaluation team, a terrific unintended consequence of our work in San Pedro.

Right now the team is crunching cycle 1 data while preparing to administer cycle 2 of the assessment during October. We’re looking forward to sharing improved descriptive stats on the girls with you before the end of the year, followed by a more detailed report on program impacts and outcomes, ideally by February/March 2015.

ADIMTU Staff Attends II Foro Internacional

ADIMTU was honored to be invited and receive the funding necessary to participate in the Second International Forum sponsored by the Kenoli Foundation of Vancouver, B.C. and held in Honduras in September. The purpose of the Forum was to foster the exchange of knowledge, experience and outcomes among the 30 organizations from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua that receive funding from Kenoli. Of the 7 Guatemalan organizations attending, ADIMTU was the only one not yet funded by Kenoli, and was pleased to be introduced as a future partner.

Alejandra Ramos de León, an ADIMTU change agent who has been part of the Girls Leadership Program since its inception, ably represented ADIMTU there. Describing ADIMTU’s mission and programs, Alejandra both presented to the whole group and participated in small-group workshops. She also staffed a table where she had many good one-on-one conversations.

Alejandra reports that people’s response to ADIMTU’s work was very positive, especially among those representing other projects that address Childhood and Youth in Central America. She learned the ins and outs of preparing a successful proposal to Kenoli and what financial and program reporting and evaluation are required. She was especially pleased to report that, thanks to the hard work of their Board, ADIMTU is well-prepared to meet all such requirements for transparency and accountability.

You can count on it. Your generous donations are changing lives. Just ask our girls, their mothers and others in San Pedro Sacatepéquez. They all agree:  Educated Girls Change the Future.

ADIMTU @ International Forum in Honduras
ADIMTU @ International Forum in Honduras

Links:

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