Saludos!In 2001, five women gathered in the village of Miramar in the highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico bundled up intheir rebozos (shawls) to talk about ways to increase their capacity to weave and develop a self-supporting cooperative.We are thrilled to report that with your generous support through the Circle of Women, they are veryclose to accomplishing this goal. We invite you to join us in making their dream become a reality.Since 2006, these women have learned great many skills and have paid off their $2000 capitalization loan tothe Circle. The weavers have been financially independent, they are managing their own business by payingtheir own expenses for staff, laundry, transportation, and sales in Oaxaca.Early on, the weavers also realized they needed to be able to read, speak, and write in Spanish if they weregoing to be traveling to Oaxaca and developing a marketing plan. In 2008, we established a literacy programfor the weavers and other village women who were illiterate. After two years, 29 out of 37 women, becamefunctionally literate. Two local Mixteca teachers have also been trained to teach in a bilingual literacy curriculum.The women have continued to maintain their literacy through a book club. This past year they have beenexploring a new business initiative in making handmade dolls. And, this year the teachers have started anexciting new literacy program for children to strengthen their knowledge of Mixtec language and culture.With the Circle’s support in organizing workshops on organic dyeing, product development, and fringemaking, the weavers are now among the most highly-skilled weavers in Oaxaca, so much so that in 2009El Museo de Textil in Oaxaca had an exhibition of their work and continue to support their sales.Three years ago, at the women’s request we also initiated a women’s health program to teach about basichealth, nutrition, women’s illnesses, small vegetable gardening, and yoga. The health program also producedthree new health promoters for the community and retrained three already working in the clinic.It has been a rewarding journey. The empowerment of these women is a dream for anyone engaged in theinternational development work. And yet, their non-stop efforts to better their lives need our support as theybecome more and more independent. We feel extremely honored to be included in their community and feelstrongly that we are close to accomplishing our goals in Miramar.As a supporter, we invite you to celebrate the accomplishments of these hard-working, creative and determinedwomen and help them make a lasting change in their lives.Thank you very much for all your generosity in the past and we hope you will be able to help the women ofMiramar as the Circle of Women wraps up its work by early next year. We want to raise $10,000 to help thewomen to stand on their own feet after we leave.Thank you for all you are doing for the women of Miramar,
Judith Lockhart Radtke
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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