May 6, 2021

Launching: IPV and GBV Prevention Program

As we approach Mother's Day, it's time to celebrate the importance of your ongoing support in the lives of mothers in the community surrounding the Guatemala City garbage dump. 

Intake evaluations performed with Creamos’ clientele this past January indicated that over 95% of the 300 women in the program have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) and/or gender based violence (GBV) during their lifetime, and only 10% sought legal or social support. According to a recent report published by Amnesty International, Creamos' intake data aligns with country-wide statistics indicating that Guatemala suffers from one of the highest rates of IPV and femicide in the world. In 2008, the Guatemalan congress passed the “Law against Femicide and Other Forms of Violence against Women” in an attempt to address this issue. Despite moderately decreased femicide rates in the years since, the impunity rate in femicide cases persists at 98% according to the United Nations, indicating a lack of governmental attention directed towards this issue. In 2010 alone, 313 women per 100,000 people reported experiencing domestic violence, and 2 per 100,00 women were victims of femicide. The effects of this injustice are amplified for those living in the GCGD squatter settlements, as many vie on scant resources, education levels among the population are astronomically low, and there is virtually no opportunity for formal employment.

This spring, with your support, Creamos is endeavoring to change this narrative. Creamos' Emotional Support Team is in the preliminary stages of launching an Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Gender Based Violence Treatment and Prevention program for for 140 women in the garbage dump community. This program has been designed to address the astronomically high rates of violence towards women and girls living in this community who are living in isolation, experiencing violence, and have never had the opportunity to access services. Some of the dangers these women face are overt, including violent acts of physical and sexual violence, while others result from more subtle gender-based pressures, including high rates of teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, multiple children per household, and lack of exposure to healthy relationships, low-self-esteem, and lack of financial independence.

This program will serve to provide 140 women who have been identified as involved in (or at risk of being involved in) abusive relationships with the tools, resources and support necessary to become strong self advocates through providing basic knowledge about the characteristics of IPV and GBV; facilitating activities to support the identification of violence in their lives and community; developing safety plans to ensure an exit option for themselves and their children; increasing exposure to life-saving services and resources in the community; and increasing the understanding of women’s rights and Guatemalan gender based violence laws. 

Thank you for making programs like this possible. We're so grateful to have you with us on this journey to promote safer and more sustainable lives for the women and mothers in the community surrounding the garbage dump. 

Mar 22, 2021

Women's Month 2021 - Choose to Challenge

"A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let's all choose to challenge".  - International Women's Day

This year's International Women's Day theme is "Choose to Challenge" - an international call to action for all of us to challenge the biases, stigma and misconceptions against women in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world. 

This year, we’re balancing the call for celebration with the recognition that this month was borne from centuries of systemic sexism, hegemonic masculinity, and the inequalities that women face across social, economic, and political spheres. For too long, women and girls around the world have been disproportionately impacted by the social domination of men over other genders, impeding the achievement of gender justice. We stand with all who are fighting for the de-hierarchisation of the gender system and its insidious impacts on the lived experiences of women. With your ongoing support, Creamos commits to challenging the status quo in the following ways:

1. We believe that organizational sustainability must be derived from participant leadership. For this reason, we're creating a Community Advisory Council made up of elected women from the Creamos community who will be responsible for identifying programmatic goals, outcomes and indicators, which are incorporated into the organization’s monitoring and evaluation plan at the beginning of each program year.

2. We believe that no woman should be afraid to access legal support in response to domestic and intimate partner violence. 95% of Creamos participants have been the victims of violence throughout their lifetime, yet only 10% report ever having sought legal support. This year, Creamos brought a lawyer onto the team to provide free and immediate access to legal consultations in hopes of dismantling the structural barriers that have led to rampant cycles of gender-based violence within our target community. 

3. We believe that women don't have to choose between being mothers, students, or workers. Women and girls experience lower educational attainment, increased economic exclusion and high poverty rates as a result of disproportionate childrearing responsibilities.  Creamos is providing free childcare for all mothers enrolled in its programs to eradicate this obstacle and encourage women to pursue their education and professional interests. 

On behalf of the entire team at Creamos, thank you for your belief in us, and your complicity in the ongoing battle towards a more gender-equal world. We couldn't do it without you. 

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Jan 6, 2021

A New Year for Creamos

When we started this fundraising campaign in 2016, Creamos served 150 women. Today, as we kick off 2021, we're proud to report that an anticipated 250 adults - both women and men - will pass through our doors this year. Back in 2016, we were a staff of 4 - today, we are a team of 15. In these past four years, our income generating programs have grown from a small and humble recycled jewelry program to an internationally recognized social enterprise; our emotional support programs have expanded to provide individual, group and family therapy for over 150 individuals per year; and our basic adult literacy program has morphed into government accredited elementary, middle and high school for over 200 adult learners in the garbage dump community. We can't wait to keep you updated on all that this year brings, and all that your ongoing support has made possible. Cheers to another year of partnership! Now let's get to work.

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