Maya Angelou once said, "there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
To that end, we here at Four Walls and a Roof have been thinking deeply about how telling our story allows us to connect with others, to deepen our relationships, and to humanize the work both our work here in Illinois and the work of our colleagues in Cotacachi, Ecuador.
To that end, Four Walls and a Roof Director, Rachel Storm, has--with the generous help of FWAAR interns and volunteers--organized a traveling exhibition of photography capturing the work of the women in Cotacachi who are organizing for gender empowerment and to establish the first battered women's shelter in the area. The exhibition, entitled Carchina* Women had its first premier mid-September at an independent art gallery, Indi Go Artist Co-Op in downtown Champaign. Over $350 cash donations were raised in the opening night alone and gallery visitors were able to get a glimpse of the various activist projects the indigenous women in Cotacachi have organized—from hosting community empowerment workshops to leading rallies and protests.
As exhibition attendees view Carichina Women, we know that we’ll be sharing as much as we can of the work of the women in Cotacachi as we continue our efforts to establish a women’s shelter in the Andean region of Ecuador. This January, Carichina Women will showcase in the Department of International and Global Studies at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Thereafter, updates regarding where the exhibition will travel to next can be found on our website.
In addition to this, Four Walls and a Roof has many other efforts underway, including:
* Launching a new user-friendly website designed by web designer, Mukund Lakshman.
* Soliciting small business and corporate sponsorship packages in the Midwest.
* Hosting three event fundraisers designed for women’s empowerment.
* Participating in the Annual Take Back the Night Rally on the University of Illinois campus in April.
We thank all of our donors for their continued support. Thank you and happy new year!
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