Josefa is a 23 year old single woman who only had the opportunity to finish second grade. She lives with her 63 year old mother and one of her married brothers and his family. They are ten living together in a small house. She entered the group because she saw starting a garden as a way to contribute to the support of the family. Something that she could do on her own! She is very happy to have learned so many new, practical things.. Before she joined the group, she didn’t realize that there were many things in the community that seemed useless that could be put to good use. She has learned that something as common as manure can be turned into organic fertilizer. She is anxious to learn many more useful things.
A Matching Day is coming up on September 16th.
Our goal is to cover the expenses for the Organic Gardening Project in Chumanzana for 2015! This project provides the materials and knowledge needed for Josefa and the other women in the project to grow their own vegetables and provide more nutrious food for themselves and their families. In addition, learning new things gives them an added feeling of worth.
They will appreciate any donation you can make on the 16th, so that we can meet our goal! All donations will be matched at 30%. Donate early as the $70,000 in matching funds goes fast!
Micaela is one of the new members to the Organic Gardening Project in Chumanzana, Chichicastenango, Quiche, Guatemala. She is 41 years old and married with ten children. They range from 22 to 4 years old. Her family was not able to give her the opportunity to attend school, but she still is eager to learn new things. She asked to join the group because she saw how the women in the group were benefiting from their membership. Her home is an hour and a half walk from the house where the meetings are held, but the distance is not important. She wants to learn how to grow her own food in her own garden. It will be a savings for her and will allow her to provide fresh vegetables for her family without making the two hour trip by bus daily to buy them. Her children are also learning to help her plant and take care of the garden. The whole family is benefiting from her participation in the group.
Candelaria Sut, the project manager, has been working with the experienced gardeners in the group to share what they have learned. They have planned workshops on natural fertilizer, insecticides, and other gardening techniques.
She took Micaela and her fellow gardeners to visit a center that teaches techniques for a healthy life style. The director of the center demonstrated the uses of different plants, how to grow them, and how to preserve them by drying. They were able to share this new knowledage with the women who were unable to go on the trip.
The project is rolling along with all of the women actively involved. The group is organized with its own officers that lead the group as they make decisions concerning the project. Candelaria is there to facilitate the process and seek out ways to implement the projects they suggest.
We still have $935 to go before our project is fully funded. Micaela, the other three new women to the project, and the original group have benefited from the donations you have already made. There are more people waiting. September 16th is the next Matching Day. The 15th is Guatemalan Independence Day. Donate to celebrate and have your donation matched! Tell your friends as well. Remember Sept. 16th is the day to get Matching Funds for your donation!
The women in Chumanzana have been so successful that other women in the community are pressing them to join. They recently integrated four in women, Marta, Tomasa, Josefa and the team of Micaela and her daughter, Rosa into the project. The women pay a small membership fee, but it is not enough to buy the initial materials needed to get their raised bed gardens started. The cost of Marta's starter kit is paid for with donations to a microproject designated for her here on our Global Giving page. The funding for the other three will come from on-going donations to this project.
The women have received their tools and materials and have built their raised bed and are ready to plant. They also had a workshop where they planted seed trays to grow seedlings to transplant to their gardens when they are ready. We have photos of their work which I think demonstrate their eagerness to learn, so I am going to let them speak for themselves through these photos. If you wish to support these women as they begin this new adventure, you can do it with a donation to our project. Information on how to donate is attached to this report. Tell your friends and family as well. These women are willing to work hard, they just need a little capital to get started.
The 2014 Organic Gardening project has been evaluated. From the women's point of view the project has provided many benefits. They now each have their own garden in their houses to provide daily vegetables for the family table. They are also able to sell the surplus, which brings some extra income for the family. In Chumanzana, two other women saw the value of the project and asked to join. Candelaria is in the process of integrating them into the group. The women shared that they are saving time because they do not have to travel the long distance to the city on market day to get their vegetables.
Two repsentative from Chumanzana visited a organic gardening center to find out about different kinds of gardens and tecniques for gardening organically. They shared what they have learned with other women when they returned. One of the things that they learned about was to grow seedlings in trays and boxes. They were able to put transplant into their garden.
The women both in Chumanzana and Santa Clara la Laguna are eager to expand their project to include more women. Although the women in Santa Clara have been introduced to the raised bed gardening tecnique, funds are not yet available to help them with the seed money they need to get started.
We are participating in the Global Giving matching day on March 18, 2015. We have set a goal of $3000 to expand the project to Santa Clara and continue supporting the women in Chumanzana. If you can make a donation on this day, it will be matched at 30%. Spread the word to your friends and family to help us reach our goal.
I have just returned from Guatemala after a month of working with the staff and women-young and old. It was an inspiration that made clear the importance of your on-going support. It gives me added passion for our annual October pledge campaign to fund our projects for 2014-15 fiscal year. All of the accomplishments that I witnessed were possible because of your support.
The highlight was my visit to Chumanzana where the organic gardening project is going strong. Candelaria Sut, who is in charge of women's development, has been working with the women there for three years. It was easy to see the results of her work. All of the women are now growing vegetables in small plots in their patios or near their homes. I videotaped interviews with the women and will attach the video so that they can tell you about their project themselves and what it has added to their lives. They credit the Kateri Fund for the help they receive, but I keep reminding them that it is really your donations that make our work possible.
Click on the video link Chumanzana Women Talk and see what they have to say and then consider another donation so that we can continue the project for another year and expand it to another village!
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