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
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Empowering Guatemalan Women with Professional Jobs
Clara
Clara

Clara has been searching for a position as a bookkeeper since she graduated from high school career training in 2017.  She is excited to finally be able to use the skills that she learned in school.  Her difficulty finding work is common in Guatemala.  Work is scarce and in order to get a position a young woman needs to already have work experience.  To get the work experience she needs to be hired.  It is a frustrating situation and leads to exploitation of young people who, if they can get a job, are  paid very low wages.  

Clara appreciates the opportunity that your donation is providing for her to get the experience that she needs.  She is interning in an accounting office in her hometown.  She is working with people who are teaching her what she needs to learn to be a  successful accounant. 

She says, "I am working in an office with an accountant and his secretary I am the general assitant.  I am thankful to you who support this program for giving me the opportunity to have new experiences.  Now I am workig with the profit and loss books, collect bills owed the office, and pay income taxes.  I am learning to do the work as the accountant wants it done and work in harmony with the secretary.  This experience will help me when I look for a job at the end of my year as an intern."

Clara is just starting her intern experience and already she is having success in a work environment.  For young women like Clara who do not have many role models in the workplace, she is learning that she fits in and can be a successful accountant.

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Aura, Ready for Work
Aura, Ready for Work

As we think the best report comes from the young women in the program, we are sending Aura's most recent report on her internship at  an accounting firm inher hometown.

Dear Friends,

Thanks to your support, I have started working at an accounting firm called Finance and Business Consultants.  I work with five others.  We each have our own job.

The business has three different functions: cashier, accounting, and credit.  I am in charge of the cash transactions for the G & T Bank and one accounting client.  As cashier, I attend to the people who come to deposit cash, cash checks, withdraw money, etc.

My first week, I entered information in the books by hand.  Then they asked me what I knew how to do.  I told them that I could do declarations and tabulations, so they assigned me clients to check payments against bills.  I did those well, so they assigned me other tasks.

The work goes well, since I am learning a lot every day.  The manager of the accounting firm says that it is important that I overcome my shyness.  When I attend to the clients, I am very nervous, but I am struggling to present myself with confidence, saying, “It is a pleasure to serve you.  Can I help you in something more?”  I want to do an excellent job and I am working hard to accomplish my goal.

I feel very happy to be working in the office.  My family helps me because this is an opportunity to strengthen my knowledge of my profession.  Each day my knowledge grows.

Thank you for your support.

Attentively,

Aura

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Intern Group 2018
Intern Group 2018

Our plan was to place our 2019 interns in January.   We did not reach our funding goal, so have had to put the program on hold.  Young women have submitted their applications and are waiting to get started.  They want to join the other young women who have successfully completed their first work experiences and are working in their career.

Loyda who interned as a secretary at a school in Panajachel is now working there fulltime and attending the university to become a teacher.  Blanca has a position in the restaurant where she interned.  Francisca has a position teaching in a village outside her hometown of San Juan Comalapa.  Brenda is working at a government health clinic. Juana is putting her training as a bookkeeper to work as a bill collector for a cable company in Santa Clara la Laguna.  Rosa and Mishel are working as hospital practical nurses.  Silvia is working as a bank clerk.   Reina is working as a pre-school teacher in a government program and Leona is working at an accounting firm.  These young women all credit the Kateri Intern Program as preparing them to move ahead with jobs in their careers.

We have enough money right now to support one internWe need to reach our funding goal to move forward.  You can help us by adding to your own donation or contacting your friends and family to tell them about the Kateri Intern Program and encourage them to donate.  As we say, “Everything is possible with a little help from a FRIEND!”

Loyda with her Certification
Loyda with her Certification
Brenda and Candelaria
Brenda and Candelaria
Blanca
Blanca
Interns participating in Tax Workshop
Interns participating in Tax Workshop
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Aura
Aura

In July 2018, six young women finished their internships ready to seek permanent employement.  They all now have the work experience they need to support their applications for professional employment.  This month is high school graduation in Guatemala. That means that another group of young women are eagerly looking for job with the same obstacle - lack of work experience.  The Kateri Fund is gathering together the funding needed to again shepherd at least six young women through the process by providing them with year long internships.

Aura is one of the young women who is applying.  She graduated in October with a certificate as a bookkeeper.  She has overcome all the obstacles put in front of her up to now with her positive spirit and can do attitude.  Ahead of her is one more- finding a job.  The Kateri Fund wants to support her as she faces this challenge. 

Aura lives in a small village outside of the city of Comalapa.  Her family works in the fields growing vegetables to sell.  They have a few coffee plants to harvest.  They have had to struggle with the illness of the father of the family.  This made it difficult for them to do the work needed to survive.  Despite the difficulties, they have struggled to keep Aura and her six siblings in school. 

Aura and her mother are very close.  In 2006, she le As the oldest, she and her mother worked together to sustain the family during her father illness. In 2006, she left school after fifth grade.  Her mother needed her at home to help.  After six years, when her father recuperated, she returned to finish elementary school at 18 years old.  A difficult thing to do!  She was so much older than the other students, but with her positive attitude and happy spirit, she fit in.  She became someone the others looked up to.

Now at 23 years old, she has graduated!  She has a career!  All of her teachers have  predicted success for her in the future.  Hers is a story of persistence, a positive attitude, and a family that believes in her, but she still  has a difficult task ahead and needs support.  She will have to support herself and help her family, too, so cannot be without work for long.  For her and others, this often leads to taking a low paying job that does not use her skills.  A Kateri internship will help get her aclimated to the world of work and open a different path.

We plan on starting our next group of interns in January, but without your donations we will need to terminate the program. Giving Tuesday is coming up on November 27th.  GlobalGiving will be matching funds donated on that day. Aura and the other young women like her will benefit from your donation that day.  If we reach our goal of $10,000, we can start receiving applications and start the project on time in January.  Recurring donations always give the projects more security.  If you can budget a monthly donation toward these internships, you will be making it possible for these young women to lift themselves out of poverty and become independent professional women.

Aura(second right) at her  bookkeeping practicum.
Aura(second right) at her bookkeeping practicum.

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Loyda at Work
Loyda at Work

Two years ago, Loyda graduated from high school prepared to work as a bi-lingual secretary.  With no experience, she was not able to get a job in her career.  She needed to work, so took a job in an internet cafe that did not use her skills.  She started to save money to go to the university, thinking that more education would help her in her job search.  She was not earning very much, so that was hard. 

When she heard about the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund Intern Program, she realized it would help her get work experience and lead to a higher paying job where she would be working in her career, so she applied.  The Fund was able to place her as a school secretary.  The school where she is interning has many worshops that teach what makes for a good work environment and that is going to help her be successful when she gets a permanent position. 

With the money she earns as an intern with the Fund, she started at the university. Working in a school led her to change her career.  She decided to study to be a teacher at the university.  She is finding the university is introducing her to many new ideas which she really enjoys.

Read her June report below:

"My studies go very well.  The courses are very interesting.  They give us suggested topics and we have debates about  themes like how much has the government done for Guatemala and what ought we to do to change our country.  Saturday, June 16th, we are going to have our mid-term exams in three courses.  I am reviewing all that we have done so I can do well.

I am learning many things where I am an intern.  I have learned about the adaption of the curriculum.  I fill out forms for students with different disabilities.  For example: If a child doesn’t learn rapidly the form outlines how the educator would teach him.  I also participated in a workshop on professional sharing.  We learned how we could help each other in our work and how the work goes forward when there is help and communication.  The 29th of this month, there is another workshop about working in a team." 

Loyda is now finishing up her intern year and will be looking for a permanent job.  The Kateri Fund Coordinator has helped her prepare for this with workshops on job seeking skills.  She will help and encourage Loyda as she starts her search.

Cataloging Books
Cataloging Books
Recording Reports
Recording Reports
School Where Loyda Works
School Where Loyda Works
Filing
Filing
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Organization Information

Kateri Tekakwitha Fund

Location: Pacifica, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Kay Sweeney
Pacifica, California United States
$9,220 raised of $10,000 goal
 
342 donations
$780 to go
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