I am writing you to inform you of an important update to our Girls' Leadership Project. We have decided that we will not be continuing to raise funds for this project at this time, and we will be temporarily suspending the project. This is for two reasons.
First, we lack the startup funds. The nature of this project is that we will need most of the funding goal reached just to start it; we are unwilling to begin a program with teenage girls when we are unsure we have the funds to complete it. With some of our other projects, the few donations we receive would enable us to still carry out a corresponding level of programmatic activity, but that isn't the case with this project--it is all or nothing.
Secondly, and most importantly, we have just received an unexpected two-year grant for support in other trainings, including leadership training for our cooperatives. (This was unexpected because we thought the application was a long shot!) We are a small organization, and this is the largest grant we have ever recieved by a factor of about 150. It will be a serious responsibility and require all our energies to manage properly. We feel that fundraising for and launching a new girls' program would be too much for our small staff to carry out at the same time as this other new training program. Moreover, both programs would be too much to introduce to the cooperatives at once.
Equipping Quechua girls to be leaders remains necessary for the long-term sustainability of our cooperatives, as well as necessary for the future health and economic success of their community. The girls will be included and specially supported in the leadership training that the abovementioned grant funds. It is likely that we will revisit the project at the end of this year or the following year. In the meantime we will use the donations from this project to support the girls' participation in all-cooperative leadership training.
I appreciate your understanding as we make the difficult strategic decisions that will ensure Awamaki's long-term health and ultimately allow us to create a greater positive impact for the Quechua women, girls and communities that we serve. Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions.
If you are interested in supporting or following our other work, please see our other active GlobalGiving projects:
Training Women to Teach Spanish
Empowering Women through Design
Capacity-Building for Rural Women Artisans
Dear GlobalGiving donors, Thank you so much for your donation to Awamaki girls' leadership program. We are currently working to secure start-up funding for the program; your donations will help us to offer this programming to the teenage daughters of our cooperative. In the meantime, we continue to support the girls in small ways, including handing out school supplies to their mothers during a recent meeting. School is starting soon in Patacancha, and while schooling is free, supplies can be very expensive for poor families and one of the many barriers to girls completing high school. Your donation allows us to help families support their girls' schooling school. Please see the attached photos of Mercedes, our Women's Cooperatives Coordinator, handing out school supplies to the women of the Patacancha weaving cooperative.
Awamaki works with nearly 60 indigenous weavers. For several years we have regularly run natural dyes workshops with them so they can retain traditional techniques and increase the market value of their weavings. A local weaving expert leads the workshops, which are funded in part by donations to this GlobalGiving project. Since we began holding the workshops, the weavers' dyeing expertise has increased, but as our project grows, we have increasingly specific dyeing needs. For example, in order to accept many international orders, the cooperative must be able to guarantee certain color shades or combinations. Plant, fungus and insect dyes are an important part of the weavers' tradition, but by nature they are imprecise in their fidelity to exact color shades. Dyeing expertise is an increasingly necessary skill in order to link weavers to international markets. Responding to the increasing demands of these markets, in November Awamaki held extra, more intensive natural dyes training for six weavers who had volunteered to become dyes experts. In the future they can take charge of leading dye workshops for the whole cooperative, rather than relying on an outside teacher to lead them. The weavers' new expertise will also allow the cooperative to offer dyes workshops to tourists through Awamaki's tourism offerings. Tourists will be able to stay in the community in the home of one of the weavers, and learn to spin, dye and weave.This is an exciting step towards greater cooperative autonomy, and will translate directly into increased income for the women. Moreover, running workshops internally will save Awamaki funds to invest in other skills that will allow our female artisans to continue creating unique, fashionable goods for international markets.