Kateri Tekakwitha Fund

The Kateri Tekakwitha Fund exists to empower Guatemalan women to break the cycle of poverty by having a positive impact on their lives, families, and communities through collaboration, educational scholarships, and support.
Aug 16, 2016

Flory Sees her Goal in Sight

Flory Jan. 2016
Flory Jan. 2016

Flory has had to persevere to overcome many obstacles in her life. This year she is within reach of her goal to become a nurse and finally a clinical psychologist.

Flory has had a history full of violence. Her mother died when she was a year old. She was left with no one to protect her and was mistreated physically and psychologically by her family members. In order to escape this situation, when she was old enough, she found work as a domestic. The people who employed her, helped her.

At 23, she went to live with a religious community, where they gave her psychological help and facilitated her studies. When she was ready to go on her own, one of her teachers gave her room and board, so she could go to school. She found work in a clothing store to support herself and attended junior high classes for adults on Saturdays.

When she graduated from junior high, she did not start studying her career immediately because she felt she did not have the knowledge she would need. She first studied a high school course in Science and Letters to have the tools she needed for her further studies.   She received glowing reports from her teachers and graduated in 2015 ready to move on

 

Despite all that she suffered, she is a friendly, outgoing young woman. She communicates with everyone. She is not afraid to share her opinions or discuss her problems when necessary.

 

This year, at 32 years old, she has started training as a nurse’s aide traveling three hours to attend her weekend classes. The week-end course is better suited to young women her age and she is able to work during the week to support herself. The career is a challenge and she must give all of yourself to do the written work, the exams, and laboratories all of which she needs to conquer.

She is very happy as her dream is to become a psychologist and this career is moving her closer. It has taken her many years of preparation. Her aspiration is to graduate knowing this career well. She will need a great deal of perseverance to reach this goal, but so far she has not faltered.

 

Since junior high, a Kateri scholarship has made it possible for her to study. Investing in young women like Flory, is what you, our donors, make possible.

Flory with a Kateri Partner Adela in 2013
Flory with a Kateri Partner Adela in 2013
Flory
Flory's Self Portrait 2014
Jun 14, 2016

Chumanzana Women Stir Up New Skills!

Candelaria, Manuela, Josefa stir their substances
Candelaria, Manuela, Josefa stir their substances

This month, the women of Chumanzana learned how to prepare organic fertilizer, insecticide and fungicide. They had been looking forward to this demonstration for a while now. Thanks to the previous donations, the women learned how to prepare these resources to prevent pests from their gardens and to ensure their gardens stay healthy and vibrant. During this workshop, the women were enthusiastic to collaborate with one another. They gathered ingredients and worked together to build a fire to boil water in order to prepare fertilizer and insecticide.

Tomasa Mateo and María Isabel said it was a beautiful experience to learn how to create organic fertilizers. They know that this skill will be beneficial for the garden that they share together. After only 3 months of participating in the gardening project, they have already harvested half their garden for their own consumption and they have harvested the other half to sell. The garden feeds their family with nutritious food and provides extra funds for other needs.

There are still several women in Chumanzana on the waiting list, eager to join the gardening project. Please join us on Global Giving’s Bonus Day: Wednesday, June 15th starting at 9:00am EDT to give more indigenous women in Guatemala the opportunity to garden. Your contributions will be matched up to 40% as long as giving funds last! Consider that $25 will provide a woman with start-up funds to invest in her garden and a donation of $50 will help her buy new tools to manager her crops.

Another participant, Manuela says she’s very happy with her garden. She and her family have already enjoyed chard, carrots, and cilantro from her garden. With the help of her daughters, she’s already planted more seeds. Her husband is also very happy and proud of their family garden.

Only after a few months of joining the program, these women have gained invaluable skills that will have a ripple effect in their community. They are gaining knowledge and resources to sustain themselves with nutritional produce. They are improving the nutritional health of not only their families, but inspiring the wider community.

Manuela, ecstatic making organic fertilizer
Manuela, ecstatic making organic fertilizer
Maria and Isabel scrape "jabon negro", soap
Maria and Isabel scrape "jabon negro", soap
Jun 7, 2016

Josefa's Year-Long Gardening Journey

Josefa (in blue) distributes tools to new members
Josefa (in blue) distributes tools to new members

When Josefa first joined the organic gardening program she had little knowledge about gardening methods, but now, a year later, she has a vibrant garden that sustains her family and also attracts others in the community. The program has had a strong impact on her personal development and long-term effects on her community.

From student to teacher - Since the beginning, Josefa has been an active participant in the program with an eager attitude to learn. She wanted to gain the skills to sustain herself and her family. She has attended gardening meetings and workshops at least once a week for the past year. Sometimes the women receive external teachings that are not presented in their native tongue. Josefa’s bilingual abilities have been invaluable, as she often translates from Spanish to her native tongue for the rest of the women to learn. Nowadays, she focuses less on her own acquisitions of skills and knowledge, instead she works closely with the gardening project coordinators to teach and mentor new women who’ve joined the group.

Josefa inspires her community - At the beginning of the program all participants are taught that gardens are like babies: they need daily nutrients, care, and dedication to grow. Josefa took this metaphor seriously and because of her great care of her garden, she is known to have a bright and green garden all year round. Several women in the community notice her garden and want that for themselves and are on the waiting list to join the program. Josefa’s mother, sister-in-law and cousins have recently joined the program.

Better nutrients and additional resources for her family - Because Josefa maintains her garden so well, she can provide reliable nutrients to her family. She grows lettuce, onions, radishes, cauliflower, and garlic, to name a few. She also is a reliable resource to her community, as she sells her produce to her neighbors. In addition to saving her earnings for her family, she uses them to buy things that are difficult to grow, like sugar and salt.

Please donate to the project today so you can give women, like Josefa, the opportunity to develop their skills and impact the nutritional health of their community! Funds go directly towards supplies for the women to set-up and maintain their gardens as well as developmental workshops. Consider that $25 will provide a woman start-up funds to invest in her garden!

Josefa
Josefa's cousin and mom, happy in their new garden
 
   

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