Congratulations to Maritza, Anita, Abigail, Roxana, Ruth, Giovana, Jenny, Silvia, Yesica, Mery, Luz Marina, and Luz Delia!
After completing six months and over 440 hours of intensive training in Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru, last Friday the twelve teachers of the Awamaki Language Center graduated from their training course. We celebrated their hard work and perseverance with a lively party where many people made speeches, recounted memories, and shared hopes for the future. With a lot of laughter and a few tears, we congratulated each of the women for the incredible determination they have demonstrated as well as the way they have supported one another in their path toward becoming Spanish Teachers, and awarded them certificates of achievement. For most, this is the first higher-education course they have completed.
Now, the new teachers are ready to put their training into action in order to begin earning a higher income to support themselves and their children. In the next two weeks, each teacher will begin offering Spanish classes to volunteers and tourists in Ollantaytambo. They will work flexible hours and earn a very competitive wage for their work. This economic opportunity will enable them to fulfill both the important family roles they hold and to improve their families' financial and social well-being.
In this moment of accomplishment, we most of all want to thank each of you who have supported this project. Funding for the training has been raised entirely through the GlobalGiving site. Your generosity has also supported much of the ongoing costs of construction and renovation of the classrooms the teachers use.
As the new teachers begin their classes, we will use the funds raised through this page to continue improving the teacher's classrooms and fund their additional trainings in teaching methods, cooperative management, and life skills. Once the teachers are teaching, they will recieve ongoing support improving their teaching methods and troubleshooting any problems they encounter in the classroom. Next steps include offering the additional trainings they need to successfully manage their teachers' cooperative and finances, including computer and business skills training; and the life skills curriculum Awamaki is developing for all its cooperatives that will help the women improve thier and their families' well-being through trainings in family health, nutrition, parenting, financial savings and other vital skills. This comprehensive approach will allow the women to gain the skills and financial independence they need to provide a better life for themselves and their families.
We thank you for your continued support and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.
The twelve members of Awamaki’s newest women’s cooperative are making incredible strides in their training to become Spanish teachers! Last Friday, we celebrated the completion of their third segment of preparation with an incredible feast prepared by the women. As we enjoyed rocoto relleno, aji de gallina, and ocopa, the teachers-in-training shared their excitement and pride in their progress, and expressed heartfelt thanks to all those who have made this opportunity possible. Each participant in this capacitacion (training) has an extremely high level of commitment, and in the last month the women have even extended their class time each week to include an English course taught by Awamaki volunteers.
The women are growing in skills and confidence, and are excited for upcoming practice teaching sessions with volunteers. Additionally, plans are progressing well for the Awamaki Language Center—the name for our newly-formed Spanish school—which will be up and running in time for our high season this summer! We are certain that the demand for these Spanish courses will be extremely high, as we already have regular inquiries regarding Spanish instruction from volunteers and tourists alike.
We are incredibly grateful for your contributions to this effort; you are empowering this group of women to improve their economic and social wellbeing while providing an essential service to the Ollantaytambo community! Stay tuned for updates on the women’s progress, and keep us informed of any ideas you may have as we seek to empower this wonderful group of teachers!
Hello friends and supporters!
I just want to let you know that our teacher trainings are under way! We started nearly one month ago, and we are working with 13 women. They have all shown tremendous dedication to and excitement about the project. The trainings take place in a school near our office. The school is letting us use two rooms: one for the trainings, and one for the free babysitting we provide for the women's children. (The school isn't charging us rent, but they have asked for a donation of soccer jerseys at the end of the program. Oh, how we love the Peruvian barter system...so if anyone has any soccer jerseys, let us know!) We have three babysitters for the children, and the moms get staple foods every two weeks to help them provide for their families while in the trainings.
One participant, Yesica, is a great example of how motivated rural women are when given an opportunity to make a better life for themselves. Yesica is 25 years old. She has a 1.5-year-old daughter. Her husband works as a migrant laborer in the jungle. This can be dangerous work and he is gone for long periods. Yesica lives in the home of her mother-in-law, on their fields far outside their small community. To get to the trainings every day, Yesica walks with her daughter for 40 minutes and then takes the bus into town. With all this travel, Yesica is still one of the most punctual and hardworking students. Even last week when her daughter was sick, Yesica didn't miss class. Instead, the babysitters (and Awamaki's programs coordinator!) did their best to take care of the baby so Yesica could attend the lesson. Luckily, the babysitting room is right next to the training classroom, so Yesica could be there if her daughter needed her. Now, her daughter is healthy again and Yesica continues to focus on her studies. We know that her hard work will pay off and she'll make a great Spanish teacher!
You can see a picture of Yesica and another of the class in the photos uploaded with this report.
Thank you again for your support and for making it possible for us to help women like Yesica lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the project! And have a happy holiday!
Thank you so much to everyone for your overwhelming support on Matching Day! Thanks to your generosity, the project is moving forward. Here's some photos of our first information session!
The session was held at the Awamaki office in Ollantaytambo. We had a great turnout for the first session. John from our partner, FairPlay, came to speak to the prospective teachers. Women are excited and we'll continue spreading the word!
Thanks for helping us get closer to our funding goal!
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