GRACE Cares's Community Finance Guatemala empowers indigenous women to take control of their household financial situations by providing them with financial literacy education and by training them to create and manage their own community banks. During this time, we are focusing on increasing the resilience of the communities we support by providing critical health education, and easy start-up home garden kits. Now more than ever we need to help protect the most vulnerable across the globe.
In rural Guatemala there are insufficient health resources to deal with the spread of COVID-19. The risk that the health care system will be overrun and unable to treat patients with COVID-19 is much higher than in many other countries. In order to flatten the curve, families are sheltering in place, but for those living in poverty they are now at an extreme risk of food insecurity.
We are leveraging our network of 22 savings groups comprised of more than 250 families to share critical health information with the 15 communities they form a part of. We are sharing simple how-to videos to teach families to build at home hand washing systems and to start and manage their own home gardens. We also provide the seed packets to help them get started. Lastly, we are facilitating a WhatsApp group for all the members to stay connected, share success stories, and support each other.
The more families we can help to take preventive measures now, such as staying home and maintaining good hygiene, the less likely it will be that this virus devastates their communities. Also, the cultivation of home gardens will not only help to feed themselves now, but will also result in a more resilient community moving forward. We look forward to getting back to meeting with our savings groups again and continuing to support them as they invest in a better future for themselves.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).