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
Odalia at Work
Odalia at Work

Odalia is interning in the Finance Department of her local government.  Her high school training is as a bookkeeper, so this is a good placement for her, so she can put into practice what she has learned and at the same time gain the experience she needs to apply for a permanent job.  Below is her February report on her work experience.  She can tell you in her own words how things are going.

Dear Friends,

It is a pleasure to be able to greet you and to wish you well in your daily work, hoping that I find you in good health.

All is going well for me in my internship.  My experience is growing each day. With my effort; I am learning many things.  One is how to write checks.  This is important because for the person to cash the check, it has to be authorized in the system.  I have studied the system to understand all the branches to be able to write the check with more confidence and security.

This month, I reviewed the paperwork of the whole year.  The auditor will come and we have to verify that all the paperwork is in order so there will not be any problems. 

I also am helping in the women’s office.  This office helps all of the women in the area.  It is a government program.  As those in charge have to leave the office to see different people, I stay there and am in charge until they return.

I am very content in this place where I am doing my internship because all is going well. I thank you for the grand opportunity you are giving me.  I hope that all continues to go well as it has until now.

I take leave of you thanking you for the attention you have given me.

 Att: Odalia

Odalia and all the interns are working hard and gaining the work experience they need to apply for a job.  A lack of work experience is the biggest obstacle for the young women when they start looking for work.  The experience you are supporting with your donation is crucial for them. Thank you for investing your hard-earned money on our cause. Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation. You know your friends and family best, so use your own words - tell them why you chose our project and what it means to you.

Thank you again for all you have done to help Odalia and the other interns!

Links:

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Glenda
Glenda

Glenda is meeting the challenges of a new experience.  She is typical of the six young women in the intern program. She graduated from high school with a certificate to teach preschool. She was not able to find a job. The first thing perspective employers asked was if she had experience. When she said that she did not, the conversation ended.

Through the Fund, she secured an internship at a non-profit that works with handicapped children. Working with the students is a challenge. The children have many problems both physical and emotional.   The advantage is that she is receiving classes in signing and techniques for working with students who have behavior problems. She said that it is difficult to work with the students, but she likes it. Little by little, she is learning how to handle her new experience.

This year, Carmela is coordinating all of our Education Fund Programs that includes the Intern Program. We are continuing it with grants from Mary’s Pence, the Quail Roost Foundation, and support from you, our Global Giving Donors. The six you women in the program are in work situations where they will get the experience they need to secure their first permanent job. At their monthly meeting, they have talked about the labor situation in Guatemala, had a talk about workplace attitudes, and a talk from a former intern about her experiences. These all add to their work skills and personal development. It prepares them for a better future.

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Glenda
Glenda

The new intern group started off their year with a meeting and learning the Kateri Fund theme song "Yo Soy Mujer"- "I am a Woman" in English.  The first line in English is "I am a woman and I seek dignity.  I don't put up with either  injustice or wickedness."  and goes on from there stating our creed in song. 

The theme of the meeting was the work situation in Guatemala.  They talked of the inequality of work opportunity and how it affected the population especially the Indigenous population.  They related the facts and statistics in an article published by the World Bank to their own lives.  The young women participated with animation because they could see that it affected them personally.

At present there are five young women in the program.  Maria Angela, Glenda, Sandra, Odalia, and Flory.  Another young woman, Loyda, will be joining them in January when her internship in teaching begins. 

Glenda's certification is as a early childhood teacher.  She will be interning in a non-profit in a village near her village that works with students with disabilities.  Glenda assists the therapists.  As a teacher, she can offer activities which relate to the therapy they need.

Her schedule is varied.  On Wednesdays, she goes out to a nearby village and helps the two teachers there work with the disabled childen in the community.  Thursday and Friday, she teaches dance and theater.  The other days, she assists the therapists in the Center.

She is learning that to work with children with special needs, you need to be well prepared.  It is very important to ask questions when she doesn't understand in order to learn all she can and get the most benefit from her experience.  She is excited to be offered a course in sign laguage.

The other interns are having similiar exciting experiences.  More to come in the next report!

Sandra
Sandra
Odalis
Odalis
Flory
Flory
Angela
Angela
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Brenda with her Intern Partner Candelaria
Brenda with her Intern Partner Candelaria

Brenda had graduated from high school ready to go to work as a secretary, but was not sure how to go about finding a job.  It was easy to fall into the daily routine of helping with the household chores and that is what she did.  She kept putting off the job search and no one encouraged her to start.  The women of the family had always stayed at home protected until they found a husband.  That was what was expected.

Fortunately for Brenda, she heard about the Kateri Fund Intern Program through a cousin.  She decided to apply.  Her first  six month placement was in the office of the Fund.  She felt comfortable there.  As she was able to fit into the routine of the office and perform the tasks assigned, she began to gain confidence and see herself as a secretary.

When her six months were finished, the Fund was able to find a second placement for her with a non-profit in her home town.  It was a step further into a new environment and new expectations.  Adjusting was hard, but she was successful.  She was considered for a permanent position with the non-profit, but the funding did not come through, so she finished the internship without a permanent job.

With the confidence she had gained, she began to apply for jobs.  The experience she had gained was a help on her resume.  She did some work as a clerk in a store, but found she wanted more.  She decided to go back to school and get a certificate as a nurse's aide.  The money she was earning helped pay for the classes.

She now is working in the Helath Center in her home town and enjoying her work.  She credits the Kateri Fund Intern Program with getting her started and helping her gain the confidence and experience she needed to see that her future could be one she chose. Self-determination is the key to a happy life!

To help more young women on the path to self-determination, consider a donation or share Brenda's story with a friend who you think would like to support young women entering the work force.

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Flory 2016
Flory 2016

We have everything ready to go.  Half of the funding is in place from donations made on GlobalGiving.  We are waiting to get the rest of the money in place so that we can put the young women in their work place.  They all are looking for jobs, but lacking work experience hampers them

Flory is typical of the young women waiting for her first job. Flory has had to persevere to overcome many obstacles in her life. She has had a history full of violence. Her mother died when she was a year old. She was left with no one to protect her and was mistreated physically and psychologically by her family members. In order to escape this situation, when she was old enough, she found work as a domestic. The people who employed her, helped her.

At 23, she went to live with a religious community, where she receiceved psychological help and facilitated her studies. When she was ready to go on her own, she lived with one of her teachers, so she could go to school. She found work in a clothing store to support herself and attended junior high classes for adults on Saturdays.

When she graduated from junior high, she did not start studying her career immediately because she felt she did not have the knowledge she would need. She first studied a high school course in Science and Letters.   She received glowing reports from her teachers and graduated in 2015 ready to move on

 Despite all that she has suffered, she is a friendly, outgoing young woman. She communicates with everyone. She is not afraid to share her opinions or discuss her problems when necessary.

At 32 years old, she will graduate from training as a nurse’s aide in June.  She is very happy as her dream is to become a psychologist and her graduation moves her closer.  It has taken her many years of preparation.  She has needed a great deal of perseverance to reach this goal, but she never faltered.  Her next challenge is to find her first job as a practical nurse. 

To start another group of young women in the program we need the investment from our GlobalGiving supporters.  Become a monthly donor and let your friends and family know about the work that needs to be done to give young Guatemalan high school graduates a start in their career.

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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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