Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs

by Kateri Tekakwitha Fund
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs

Project Report | Mar 16, 2024
Intern Program Goals Validated by CRS Study

By Melissa Vlach | Kateri Tekakwitha Fund Board Member

2023 Graduates of Intern Program
2023 Graduates of Intern Program

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) recently issued a study entitled “Between Rootedness and the Decision to Migrate: Push and Retention Factors of Migration in Guatemala.” In this study, they analyzed the characteristics that influence individuals’ desire to migrate out of the country.

 

Among the results, they found that there was a tendency toward a “female brain drain.” This is because young females are more likely to migrate as they reach levels of higher education, particularly if they are unable to find employment opportunities in which they can use the skills that they have developed. While men are still more likely to migrate overall, the difference between men and women diminishes among young people who have reached higher levels of education.

 

One additional factor that makes migration more likely is a sense of being undervalued or discriminated against, which is most common among the Mayan community. While these individuals are likely to feel connected to their communities, the sense of discrimination is another impetus for them to leave and seek opportunities elsewhere.

 

The report makes a number of recommendations for combatting these trends. Since access to formal jobs is a deterrent of migration, it suggests that increasing employment opportunities for young people is one way to decrease migration. In particular, job training programs that connect young people to employment opportunities are important. In addition, the study found that leadership opportunities for women, which help them to feel connected to their communities, are vital.

 

The Kateri Tekakwitha Fund addresses a number of these factors in order to help Indigenous young women feel empowered within their communities. The scholarship program supports young women so that they are able to continue with their education and provides tools for professional development during this process. The young women attend workshops on topics such as job interviews in order to help them develop their skills in this area and give them an advantage as they enter the working world.

 

However, as the CRS report points out, education itself is not enough to prevent young women from migrating. In fact, it actually increases the chances of migration if not accompanied by employment opportunities.

 

The Kateri Fund’s internship program is designed to help with this problem. This program connects young women to job opportunities, helping them to develop their skills in order to achieve success in the working world. It also allows them to connect with employers and build professional relationships for the future, often leading to long-term opportunities.

 

Interns in the program have been able to work at schools, health centers, businesses, and other organizations. These experiences give them valuable experience in their fields, whether that involves working with kids, practicing administrative duties, building supervisory skills, or other roles.

 

The young women attest that before entering the program, they often have a difficult time getting job opportunities due to lack of experience.

 

One participant, Cristina, explained that she was having a hard time making her career dreams a reality after completing her education. “It's been four years since I graduated. I hadn’t been given this opportunity due to lack of experience.” Through the internship program she was able to start working with kindergarten students at a local school. Although the pandemic provided additional challenges, she was happy to finally be able to use the skills she had worked so hard to build.

 

Another participant, Mayra, expressed that the internship helped her to build her career as a secretary. “The internship is a big help because it’s another step for me where I can have more experience, and it’s something that helps us to open more doors in the workforce,” she said.

 

These experiences give the young women real opportunities as they move toward their future. With the education, experience, and connections gained through these programs, they are more likely to foresee a future for themselves in their hometowns.

Antonia   Her intern experience secured her a job!
Antonia Her intern experience secured her a job!
Marta  Her internship earns her a job!
Marta Her internship earns her a job!
Juana working at the Clinic.
Juana working at the Clinic.
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Nov 17, 2023
Four New Interns Start Their Adventure

By Melissa Vlach | Kateri Board Member

Jul 20, 2023
Emely Shares Her Reflections on Finishing Her Intern Year

By Kay Sweeney | Managing Director

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Organization Information

Kateri Tekakwitha Fund

Location: Pacifica, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Kay Sweeney
Pacifica , California United States
$22,067 raised of $30,000 goal
 
654 donations
$7,933 to go
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