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Empowering Women Through Design in Rural Peru



Awamaki works with over 100 rural women artisans, partnering them with international volunteer designers and our in-house team to produce unique, fashionable products. This collaboration helps the artisans to expand on their craft, teaching them advanced design principles and technical craft skills. With their improved products, artisans gain increased access to global markets, and a secure income to support their families and communities.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?

Rural women in Peru lack access to economic opportunities. They are isolated geographically, culturally and linguistically. Though skilled in traditional craft techniques, women artisans lack the access to market, the understanding of global market demand, and the know-how to administer their business affairs that would allow them to earn a sustainable livelihood.

How will this project solve this problem?

Awamaki pairs a fashion design residency for aspiring international designers with a business incubator for artisanal cooperatives. By directly linking designers and artisans, Awamaki trains rural women in innovative, market-ready product development. While artisans learn, Awamaki facilitates market access for their products so they can earn a sustainable income to support their families.

Potential Long Term Impact

Women invest income directly into their children and their communities. Economic opportunity and skills education empower women to transform their communities and lift their families out of poverty. Women artisans that partner with Awamaki increase their income selling higher-demand products to global markets. They develop the professional skills and self-esteem needed for long-term economic success and social transformation.

Funding Information

Total Funding Received to Date: $13,374
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $4,626
Total Funding Goal: $18,000

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).


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Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru

Project Leader

Mary Kennedy Leavens

Ollantaytambo, Cusco Peru

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering Women Through Design in Rural Peru
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