April has not brought more than good news for Abriendo Oportunidades. In this report we want to tell you, our GlobalGiving community, about the outstanding role Claudia Macz (AO mentor and associate of Na'leb'ak organization) took in the Economic and Social Council Youth Forum in the United Nations. Claudia, a q'eq'chi Maya woman, traveled to New York with UN Women Guatemala to talk about the needs of thousands of indigenous women in Guatemala and Latin America. She also raised the visibility of girls and adolescents in the communities of Alta Verapaz, where she works.
In addition, Claudia held and directed an online seminar at the Population Council headquarters, where she discussed the role of community based organizations in responding to the status of rural girls in Guatemala. Congratulations Claudia! And thanks to all of you who make it possible for there to be more and more repsentation on indigenous young women in decision-making spaces. We know that the impact of these activities, combined with the excellent work that the networks are doing for girls and adolescents, will make the difference.
By now you may know that Abriendo Oportunidades program has worked for over 15 years in Guatemala, reaching nearly 15,000 girls and adolescents and over 400 young indigenous mentors. Abriendo has created a community of women that see the value on staying together to sustain positive change for girls at the community level, and now have stablished themselves as non-governmental organizations. A new movement has started.
So this month we reunited with some of AO alumni to get to know what they are up to, what are their aspirations and goals for the future. Some of them are part of the mentor-led organizations, some others are not. This opportunity to reconnect allowed us to listen to their experiences, intertwine them, and detect points of encounter and divergence between them. Some of the participants of this first meeting are now community leaders, some of them have become midwives, some of them are now graduating college. Nevertheless, they still have to face barriers imposed for indigenous women and that is the challenge. We are actively working to listen more, and support mentors' in their journey to become autonomous and overcoming those barriers.
This is only possible with the help of our GlobalGiving donors, so thank you from all of us at Abriendod Oportunidades. Stay with us for more news about the Abriendo movement in the months to come. We know there are great things to come.
Last August, we shared with you, our GlobalGiving community, about the new proyect for Abriendo Oportunidades in Sololá, a region located in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. The creation of a new safe space where girls can learn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) abilities. This project is aimed at creating a mentor led space for empowering girls through collaborative work using DIY technology in the form of buildable computers. This space is called Makerspaces and has enable girls to share, create, learn, and play with each other.
Now, as part of the celebration for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Abriendo Oportunidades joins the call of the Secretary of the United Nations to put an end to the inequality gaps between men and women in science. In the last couple of weeks, our team visited the girls' club and got to play with their Arduinos. Girls programmed and built a thermometer from with their own computers and hardware.
We believe every girl has a right to have an opportunity to achieve her dreams. It is an amazing experience to watch these girls grow to their potential and develop a new interest towards technology. We hope that in the next couple of months, they will be able to share their DIY projects with the rest of the community in a Science Fair that will elevate their visibility among adults. Keep with us, to harvest the fruit of their efforts and join us for that amazing celebration. Thanks for being part of this journey!
A new year for the Population Council and the mentoring organizations of Abriendo Oportunidades. In the last days of 2018, our team visited the mentors' organizations in the Western Highlands and Northern Guatemala to share our perspectives on the work done so far and set goarls for 2019. So far mentors have used various platforms to advance their mission to support girls and adolescents in their communities and change their realities of exclusion. Working together with government institutions, municipalities and other community-based organizarions, they have increasingly come closer to their goal.
There is still a lot of work to be done and our GlobalGiving family has been crucial for tangible achievements, thank you for raising their and our work and for promoting a new generation of empowered and visible girls. On behalf of all of us at Abriendo Oportunidades, Happy New Year!
What an amazing year for Abriendo Oportunidades (AO) program! 2018 marked a time for lessons learned and goals reached for the AO program and the networks of mentors in Chisec and the Western Highland of Guatemala. The two organizations, Na'leb'ak and REDMI, keep strengthening their skills to make the AO program and their ideas sustainable on the long term. From our exciting participation in the 76th United Nations General Assembly back in October, to our work with Makerspaces and STEM abilities, and our great event where women from all over the country could share their experiences in July, we keep working toward sustainable work with indigenous women, girls and adolescents.
We feel privileged to have our Global Giving family join us in our cause. You've become a part of our community of supporters and we're thrilled to have you on the team. We have great plans and a lot of work to do next year! We will keep working together to address the mentors needs and to build a strong platform of young women committed to research, development and advocacy. Make sure to check in with us through our monthly reports or our social media. We would like to thank you for keeping up with us over time, and for all you have done to support and increase the work we do.
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