Women Work Together

Mission Statement Women Work Together supports women and girls in highland Guatemala in their efforts toward gender equality, focusing on girls' access to education. Our mission is to raise the socio-economic status of Guatemalan women and girls by cultivating and strengthening their ability to work effectively in groups and aspire to leadership, thus accelerating positive changes in their lives and in their communities. We believe that the cycle of poverty and powerlessness endemic to rural Mayan women can be broken through systemic grassroots change that values and invests in girls' education and leadership. To accomplish this, we have taken an uncommon path in Latin America, par...
Mar 17, 2016

2016 - If Not Now, When?

Wendy & Girls
Wendy & Girls

2016 – If Not Now, When?

With the 2016 Guatemalan school year starting in January, the ADIMTU team ran the first installment of the pilot teacher training program, implementing the plan for the Leadership Institute to become a teacher-led, in-classroom curriculum. This move to train teachers has secured enthusiastic support from the Ministry of Education as key to their disseminating these successful programs to more schools across the department (i.e., state) of San Marcos.

In light of the ambitious transition plans for this year, WWT Program Director, Wendy Baring-Gould, spent the better part of February in San Pedro Sacatepéquez. She worked intensively with the ADIMTU team to review outcomes of the initial teacher workshops and was present for the next set of trainings. She participated in expanded discussions with key people from the Ministry during her time there, and some important steps were taken to lay the foundation for scaling up the Leadership Institute in the 2017 school year.

Wendy reported excellent progress on the team’s re-thinking of the Leadership Institute programs to include boys, beginning this year with a pilot program in 9 of our schools. The team re-visioned the first-year program, La Vida de Mi Mamá, as La Vida de Mi Familia and is now engaged in implementing these changes in the field. They also reviewed the second and third year programs, improving them for this year and preparing for the inclusion of boys in each, as this years’ pilot group of boys advances thru the grades.

The work plan for 2016 is both hopeful and pragmatic as we continue to move forward on all fronts, essentially to:

  • Pilot and refine the teacher training program
  • Pilot and plan for the inclusion of boys
  • Work with the Ministry of Education to potentially disseminate the Leadership Institute to other schools and municipalities across San Marcos
  • Improve evaluation information

All of this is made possible by the diligent work and inspiration of our partners at ADIMTU, WWT’s deeply committed volunteers, and your financial support. ¡Adelante!

Mother & Daughter Learn Together
Mother & Daughter Learn Together
Teacher Workshop
Teacher Workshop
Girls with Ideas
Girls with Ideas

Links:

Dec 22, 2015

Transfer to Guatemalan Partners Nears Completion

ADIMTU Team Makes Change Happen Every Day
ADIMTU Team Makes Change Happen Every Day

We’re in the home stretch

In 2009 Tracy Ehlers was invited to help start a program in Guatemala’s western highlands aimed at keeping Maya girls in school and advancing their leadership skills. This became the impetus for Women Work Together and the Girls Leadership Institute. The goal was to support girls to stay in school and make better choices in their own lives, those of their families and communities, and become agents of change in the creation of a more stable civil society.

We needed early believers and generous donors, and people showed up with open hearts and open checkbooks. Thanks to them and many talented and dedicated volunteers, the Leadership Institute now operates in 13 rural middle schools across San Pedro Sacatepéquez and each year directly serves 850 girls, their extended families and their communities.

This work is now directed entirely by an outstanding team of Guatemalan professional women who staff ADIMTU, our partner organization in San Pedro. They have developed their skills and leadership abilities to the point that ADIMTU is ready to direct the program’s future on its own. As we all agreed going in, local is always better, and in 2016 Women Work Together will turn over the reins to our Guatemalan partners. Now this is success!

While Women Work Together is working to secure the resources to complete this unique and powerful transition, international funders, attracted by ADIMTU’s success and strategy for scaling up, are watching with great interest. WWT is determined to provide local leaders in San Pedro with the financial support they need to pilot program advancements in 2016 that will position them to establish a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Education and secure sustainable support going forward.

We think you’ll agree that this is a rare opportunity to fully transfer the program, the organization and the leadership into local hands with the necessary backup to keep moving forward.

The shape of the future

Allies in the Ministry of Education are asking emphatically that Leadership Institute programs be replicated in other rural schools, initially across San Marcos and, potentially, nation-wide as well. To this end, ADIMTU is developing a teacher training program and piloting it in 8 middle schools during 2016. This will become the foundation for broad dissemination of this tested, and eventually teacher-led, curriculum.

Over these last six years our work in San Pedro Sacatepéquez has had a profound impact. While many schools in the region are closing their doors for lack of pupils, in the 2014 school year only five out of 667 girls in the Leadership Institute left school, three to marriage or pregnancy. Prior to the launch of this work, middle school dropout rates in San Pedro’s rural areas were near 40%, along with a significantly higher pregnancy rate.

Seeing the changes in their daughters, the girls‘ parents are making sacrifices for their education and, in growing numbers, are supporting them to go on to secondary school. The teachers and principals recognize and applaud the changing nature of these students as well. They observe first-hand the benefits of participatory education and are eager to learn about and incorporate more contemporary practices into their own classrooms.

During their 3 years in the Leadership Institute the girls come to understand and value their individual capacity, their intelligence, and their ability to set goals, make choices and make a difference in their own lives and that of their families. They learn they can dream, plan and achieve a far better future than that which was available to the generations of women who preceded them.

Girls Celebrate Leadership Institute Graduation
Girls Celebrate Leadership Institute Graduation
Big and Little Sisters Exchanging Personal Books
Big and Little Sisters Exchanging Personal Books
Three Happy and Proud Little Sisters
Three Happy and Proud Little Sisters

Links:

Dec 17, 2015

Transfer to Guatemalan Partners Nears Completion

ADIMTU Team Makes Change Happen Every Day
ADIMTU Team Makes Change Happen Every Day

We’re in the home stretch

In 2009 Tracy Ehlers was invited to help start a program in Guatemala’s western highlands aimed at keeping Maya girls in school and advancing their leadership skills. This became the impetus for Women Work Together and the Girls Leadership Institute. The goal was to support girls to stay in school and make better choices in their own lives, those of their families and communities, and become agents of change in the creation of a more stable civil society.

We needed early believers and generous donors, and people showed up with open hearts and open checkbooks. Thanks to them and many talented and dedicated volunteers, the Leadership Institute now operates in 13 rural middle schools across San Pedro Sacatepéquez and each year directly serves 850 girls, their extended families and their communities.

This work is now directed entirely by an outstanding team of Guatemalan professional women who staff ADIMTU, our partner organization in San Pedro. They have developed their skills and leadership abilities to the point that ADIMTU is ready to direct the program’s future on its own. As we all agreed going in, local is always better, and in 2016 Women Work Together will turn over the reins to our Guatemalan partners. Now this is success!

While Women Work Together is working to secure the resources to complete this unique and powerful transition, international funders, attracted by ADIMTU’s success and strategy for scaling up, are watching with great interest. WWT is determined to provide local leaders in San Pedro with the financial support they need to pilot program advancements in 2016 that will position them to establish a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Education and secure sustainable support going forward.

We think you’ll agree that this is a rare opportunity to fully transfer the program, the organization and the leadership into local hands with the necessary backup to keep moving forward.

The shape of the future

Allies in the Ministry of Education are asking emphatically that Leadership Institute programs be replicated in other rural schools, initially across San Marcos and, potentially, nation-wide as well. To this end, ADIMTU is developing a teacher training program and piloting it in 8 middle schools during 2016. This will become the foundation for broad dissemination of this tested, and eventually teacher-led, curriculum.

Over these last six years our work in San Pedro Sacatepéquez has had a profound impact. While many schools in the region are closing their doors for lack of pupils, in the 2014 school year only five out of 667 girls in the Leadership Institute left school, three to marriage or pregnancy. Prior to the launch of this work, middle school dropout rates in San Pedro’s rural areas were near 40%, along with a significantly higher pregnancy rate.

Seeing the changes in their daughters, the girls‘ parents are making sacrifices for their education and, in growing numbers, are supporting them to go on to secondary school. The teachers and principals recognize and applaud the changing nature of these students as well. They observe first-hand the benefits of participatory education and are eager to learn about and incorporate more contemporary practices into their own classrooms.

During their 3 years in the Leadership Institute the girls come to understand and value their individual capacity, their intelligence, and their ability to set goals, make choices and make a difference in their own lives and that of their families. They learn they can dream, plan and achieve a far better future than that which was available to the generations of women who preceded them.

Girls Celebrate Leadership Institute Graduation
Girls Celebrate Leadership Institute Graduation
Big and Little Sisters Exchanging Personal Books
Big and Little Sisters Exchanging Personal Books
Three Happy and Proud Little Sisters
Three Happy and Proud Little Sisters

Links:

 
   

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