The 2014 Organic Gardening project has been evaluated. From the women's point of view the project has provided many benefits. They now each have their own garden in their houses to provide daily vegetables for the family table. They are also able to sell the surplus, which brings some extra income for the family. In Chumanzana, two other women saw the value of the project and asked to join. Candelaria is in the process of integrating them into the group. The women shared that they are saving time because they do not have to travel the long distance to the city on market day to get their vegetables.
Two repsentative from Chumanzana visited a organic gardening center to find out about different kinds of gardens and tecniques for gardening organically. They shared what they have learned with other women when they returned. One of the things that they learned about was to grow seedlings in trays and boxes. They were able to put transplant into their garden.
The women both in Chumanzana and Santa Clara la Laguna are eager to expand their project to include more women. Although the women in Santa Clara have been introduced to the raised bed gardening tecnique, funds are not yet available to help them with the seed money they need to get started.
We are participating in the Global Giving matching day on March 18, 2015. We have set a goal of $3000 to expand the project to Santa Clara and continue supporting the women in Chumanzana. If you can make a donation on this day, it will be matched at 30%. Spread the word to your friends and family to help us reach our goal.
Thanks to all of you who donated to provide funding for Blanca's internship, she is working at a local resort and gaining the experience she needs for her resume. Juana, the Kateri staff member who oversees the program, visits the worksites to get feedback on how things are going. The reports from Blanca's supervisor have been positive.
The Intern Program pays a monthly salary to the young women in the program. Blanca has used a part of this salary to attend English classes. As she plans to work with tourists, this is an important skill for her. Of course, she is just getting started, but she doesn't sit around talking about what she needs, she actively finds a way to fulfill those needs.
Along with working, Blanca is attending monthly meetings set up by Juana. She, along with the other interns, has put together the information for her resume and will start looking for a permament job in February. Juana has connected all the young women with a government program that helps recent graduates find work. This program will help them as they seek permanent positions.
Blanca has dreams for the future and she is doing what she needs to do to make them a reality!
The 2014 school year is finished and the thirteen young women in this year's program celebrated with fun, games , and a great meal of barbacued chicken at the Albergues de Tecpan. It is a green space with many beautiful plants and areas for games and a restaurant with good food. They divided themselves into groups and each group shared a game which was enjoyed by all.
The first group of alumni who started in the program in 1994 was invited to celebrate with the present students. Paula , Juana , and Carmela were able to attend and share the fun. They all are role models for the young women. Both Paula and Juana have their university degrees. They are honored to use the title Licenciada which is a hard earned graduate degree. Juana is working with the Fund as bookkeeper and in charge of the Intern Program and Paula is working with adolescents in a program of sex education with a goal of preventing teen pregenancies. Carmela also has her university degree in anthropology. She was the very first scholarship holder and is now the Coordinator of the Education Program.
Reina, Lily, Sandra, and Adela are this year's high school graduates.
Reina's career is preschool teacher. She is looking forward to finding a job and being able to help her family economically. She really enjoyed her practice teaching and can't wait to get started with her own class.
Lily specialized in computers. She is very satisfied to reach her goal and prove to her parents that when she sets her mind to something, she can accomplish it no matter the obstacles.
Sandra finished her high school training as a commercial secretary. She knows that the competition for a job is stiff, so she plans to take courses in English and computers next year to improve her chances of getting work.
Adela will be looking for a job as a bookkeeper. Her ultimate goal is to have her own accounting office, but in the meantime, she will need to get experience in someone else's office.
Florinda and Eva graduated from junior high and will be continuing on to high school next year. Flory has chosen the career of nursing and Eva will study teaching.
The graduates were all honored with a small gift and they expressed their happiness to have finished their high school studies and thanked all who helped them through the Fund.
It was a wonderful day when all were able to share with each other and celebrate another year of sucesses!