Empower Deaf Women to Build a Business in Mexico

by Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende AC
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Empower Deaf Women to  Build a Business in Mexico
Mural for New Store
Mural for New Store

The dream of providing a means to create empowerment through employment for the young Deaf women at Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende is within their reach. Three of these young women, Azucena, Laura and Fernanda will graduate from high school, likely in December. Gaby will graduate this year from middle school and has chosen not to go on to higher education which is entirely fine. All four will seek at least part time employment after their graduation. Networking and advocating within the community by school organizers has already reaped the reward of employment for some of the older students. Currently Azucena is working part time with Luis' wooden puzzle making shop after classes and Gaby has been offered part time employment during summer vacation with well known and successful jewelry designer and instructor David Godinez. David trained Gaby himself at EEE's Vocational Training Jewelry Workshop and is so impressed with her skill and imagination that he wants to have her on his team. Laura and Fernanda, avid and accomplished seamstresses trained in the Sewing Workshop at EEE, plan to continue in sewing; making attractive bags, pillows and girls' dresses. Fernanda may have the opportunity to design hand painted clothing for a local fashion design business. It would be the ideal situation to have all of the student eventually employed by businesses outside the school and in the "hearing world" but we realize that this will not be initially practical for every student.

In order to provide means of further training and untimately employment, organizers at EEE created this project as a means to fund a "store" within the school premises to showcase and sell handmade products made by the students to the public. The vocational training instructors have been very busy during the past year training the students in making and perfecting the design of attractive, useful and marketable products from the Sewing, Jewelry Making and Carpentry Workshop. The public has shown their interest in these products through sample testing, special sales events and custom orders received from interested buyers. An example is the outstanding success achieved through building artists' easels in the wood working shop aimed at the large artist community in San Miguel de Allende. All products have been tested and are ready to be offered for sale to the public. The students are now ready to learn to organize production and learn how to market and present their products in an attractive and practical way in a secure environment supported by translators and managers. Work has been completed in painting walls, installing new lighting and beautifying used display fixtures. Work is underway in creating a logo and other marketing materials. We anticipate that when school resumes a new term in September the store will be ready to open its doors. Fernando, a participant of the Sewing Workshop and a talented artist, has drawn a mural on the wall of the proposed shop space. The mural will soon be painted and serve as a logo for the new operation. As a team, all of the older students will work together to make the new store an operating success.

Thank you to all our GlobalGiving donors for funding this project and helping the students feel empowered and realize the success of achieving employment. Although these young people are Deaf, they have come to realize that there isn't a dream that is beyond their reach. Thank you for playing a very important role in the students' future success. 

To donors currently making recurring monthly donations to this project, we will redirect your donations to a second project "Sponsor a Deaf Child to Receive an Education in Mexico" where we focus on bringing elementary and middle school Deaf children to EEE to receive the education in Mexican Sign Language and written Spanish. Many of these children and their families live in rural areas and find it difficult to get to school in the city. Through this project we intend to help them get to school and receive the special education every Deaf child deserves. 

Fernando Draws Mural for New Store
Fernando Draws Mural for New Store
Fernanda in Her Hand Painted Skirt
Fernanda in Her Hand Painted Skirt
Gaby at Sale of Jewelry
Gaby at Sale of Jewelry
Juanita Modeling New Creation
Juanita Modeling New Creation
Laura Modeling Handmade Quinceanara Dress
Laura Modeling Handmade Quinceanara Dress
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Fernanda and her Catrina
Fernanda and her Catrina

Being an enthusiastic and energetic high school student at Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende, Fernanda focuses most of her time on academic studies. However, several times each week, in the afternoons after class, she loves to participate in the school's sewing workshop. It is there that her passion for art, design and creating beautiful things comes to the forefront.

Fernanda, profoundly deaf, dreams of a career in fashion design. To help express and record her designs Fernanda keeps a journal with sketches of her latest ideas. True to her Mexican roots, one of her recent sketches was of a "Catrina" dressed Frida Kahlo style. (Catrinas we should explain are figures of a woman skeleton usually dressed in Victorian style garb with a large plumed hat. They are prevalent at the Day of the Dead celebrations held in Mexico during early November and have come to symbolize the event).

From this sketch Fernanda created her Catrina from paper mache complete with hand embroidered blouse and hand painted skirt. Through an interpreter Fernanda explained, "I am so happy to win first prize in the school competition! It feels wonderful to be first!" Later Fernanda's masterpiece was purchased by an avid school supporter and a collector of Catrinas. You can only imagine the pride and satisfaction that this recognition gave to Fernanda! 

To add to this achievement, last week the school held its 2nd Annual Christmas Craft Fair to showcase and sell the many wonderful products made by all of the older students in the caprentry, jewelery making and sewing workshops. Fernanda joined her fellow students in creating many beautiful Christmas pillows, table runners, cross stitched bags, and young children's dresses. During the event we heard many shoppers comment on how the quality of the this year's items have reached new levels of professionalism. We know Fernanda, along with her fellow student sewers, are encouraged by these votes of confidence. Fernanda ardently contends that she will continue to pursue her dream of a career in fashion design. There is nothing, especially not even her own deafness, that will hold her back! And the teachers and volunteers at Escuela de Educación Especial will be there to guide and encourage her, and others, along their way.

Our sincere thank you to all our Global Giving supporters! Your donation helps provide an education to the deaf and hard of hearing children and young people of San Miguel de Allende which will enable them to become literate, independent and productive citizens who set and achieve life goals. We wish you Happy Holidays!

Juanita with handmade cushions
Juanita with handmade cushions

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
End of School Celebration
End of School Celebration

The students have recently returned after the summer break and school has begun it's sixth year of providing a quality education to children and young people who just happen to be deaf.

Academic Programs Expand 

During the past year, in addition to our regular pre-school, primary and middle school programs, EEE began offering high school on-line programs to five students who had recently graduated from middle school. We are happy to let you know that they have each completed 8 of the 23 modules required. 

Although the students still have a way to go, we are very proud of the hard work they have put toward achieving their goal of receiving their high school diploma. 

Please click onto the link to see some neat photos of our Graduation Event in July 2017. We hope that they make you smile! 

Graduation Photos

Vocational Training Flourishes 

In addition, and as you already know, the school has been developing after-school Vocational Training Programs offering job skills training for the older students. During the last term for example, there were 13 students enrolled in sewing, carpentry and jewelry making workshops. The students in the sewing program have advanced to making some wonderful clothing items including special dresses contracted by a local preschool for their graduation. Not to be outdone, the young men in the carpentry workshop have advanced to constructing furniture items for the families served by another local NGO, Casita Linda.  

These programs are made possible by dedicated instructors and volunteers. 

Your Help Is Important

As you can see, there has been much accomplished. But there also remains much yet to do. The school continues to operate solely through the generosity of people just like you. We are hoping that you will continue to partner with EEE as we go forward into the 2017/2018 school year. 

 

Dresses Handmade by Students
Dresses Handmade by Students
Little Ones Continue to Advance
Little Ones Continue to Advance

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

With high energy and enthusiasm Sister Deborah came to Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende, somewhat like an angel appearing out of the blue, offering to volunteer in the Sewing Workshop which forms part of the school's Vocational Training Program. Although Sister Deborah lives and works in Queretaro, travelling a one hour's distance by bus every Friday to and from San Miguel would never discourage this resourceful and determined woman. She had previously lead exactly this type of program with a group of indigenous women in Queretaro, teaching them to make a very saleable product and thus earn an income allowing their young children to attend public school; learning in school was a vast improvement from having them sell trinkets on the street! Sister Deborah knew this initiative would transfer well to the school's ambition of teaching marketable skills to the bright students of EEE who only happened to be Deaf. True to the addage "Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a person to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". These are the same principles followed at EEE and so a partnership and a bond with Sister Deborah was formed in no time. 

Quickly the teachers, volunteers and students of the sewing workshop were engaged and eager to learn this new skill. Intricate and colorful borders for hand towels, note cards, bags, money pouches and many other beautiful creations were soon being lovingly created by the students for sale in the upcoming Spring Bazaar.

During this same time it came to light that, Mathilde, mother of one of the school's primary level students, Miguelito aged 7 years, had excellent skills in hand sewing and embroidery. Mathilde and her family were stuggling to make ends meet financially. Mathilde, resourceful and hard working was part of an embroidery cooperative in her small community which helped to generate a little income for her family. Sister Deborah thought it would be a great idea to train Mathilde as an instructor in the cross stitch program so that she could spend a few hours each day, while her son attended school, helping the students hoan their new skills. It was a win-win for all concerned! 

Sales of cross stitich items at the Spring Bazaar in March were brisk and there was a great feeling of pride and accomplishment felt by all involved; those students who learned something new, the teachers and volunteers, including Sister Deborah who had the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise, and especially for Mathilde who became a proud and welcomed addition to the Sewing Workshop at EEE!

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Carla with cupcakes and cookies
Carla with cupcakes and cookies

During the past school year many wonderful projects, all represented by items handcrafted by the students themselves, grew and grew until on March 15th the Spring Bazaar was born!

Friends and supporters were invited to attend, refreshments were served, a lovely musical interlude was performed and best of all, the students were all smiles and full of pride as they showcased thier special creations for sale! Their products were made with the help of expert guidance in woodworking, jewelry making, sewing and baking workshops at the school. And sales were indeed brisk. You can only imagine how the students self-esteem levels were raised as a result of the honest and credible feedback of those invited. A portion of the sales proceeds goes back to each student, so that is another good reason for smiling!

We have witnessed a very steady upward trend in the quality and market appeal of the students products. As they continue to learn and improve their craft plans also grow for future business prospects to help each of the students become self-sufficient and independent in their adult life.

A picture tells a thousand words, as they say, so please follow the link and see all of the pictures first hand.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronfel/sets/72157679977791680/

Laura and Juana with quilt
Laura and Juana with quilt

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende AC

Location: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Sharon Doherty
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende AC that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.