Before the war, Dona Catarina Matom lived peacefully with her two daughters and husband in Nebaj,Guatemala.But escalating violence and war soon spread to her village. Soldiers brutally plundered homes and thenset them ablaze. Escaping violence, Dona and her family fled to the mountains—where they faceddisease, sickness, cold and extreme hunger.After weeks of hiding, they relocated to Caba Chajul, Guatemala. “We were chased by soldiers, wealways tried to hide. There were constant bombings. My daughter Rosa was good and healthy but one dayI can not remember which, a bomb fell near my daughter Rosa and now she is currently deaf,” said Dona.In Caba Chajul, Dona’s husband was captured by soldiers. She struggled to raise her daughters on herown, constantly worrying about how to provide them with food. Often, they were forced to subsist off ameager diet of wilted herbs and plants.But Dona no longer has to worry about how she will feed her children. Now, she has the essential skillsand resources to provide for her family, thanks to your support through GlobalGiving’s SustainableChicken Farm for Guatemalan Women project.MADRE works with Muixil, a community based organization of Indigenous Ixil women inGuatemala. Together, MADRE and Muixil created Farming for the Future, a collective income-generating project that provides the Ixil women living in poverty with economic independenceand food security and empowers them to demand their political rights.When the sustainable chicken farming project began in 2007, Muixil and MADRE wereable to provide 30 women with chickens, but over the years the project has increasedsubstantially. Over the past year, at least 48 women (16 from each of the three communities)have participated in and benefited from the chicken project. Additionally, the sustainable chickenfarms have provided food security, better nutrition, and a means of generating small amounts ofincome for the families involved.“Before, I was very poor and scared, I never spoke…But Muixil accepted me and I participate intrainings, meetings and now participate in the community and I have no fear. I know I have the samerights as men. I received the support from MUIXIL and I thank all the women who help us in othercountries far away,” said Dona.
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