The Women of Chumanzana
As the school year in Guatemala came to an end in October, The Kateri Tekakwitha Fund will see six young women graduating from our career and life skills training. Two of our graduating program participants will receive their certificates as music teachers, two as elementary school teachers, one as a bilingual secretary, and one as a bookkeeper. We are thrilled to celebrate their success, and we congratulate each of them on their hard work and tenacity over the last year!
Heading into graduation season, we were also excited by the opportunity to assess our program, and we got to work surveying the participating and graduating women in the group. Thanks to the generous support of the R&R Foundation, we were able to assess how our program is meeting local needs and preparing indigenous women for work. In order to inform our planning for next year’s program, we asked the young women to share how they felt they had benefitted from the vocational workshops held throughout the year.
What we found was emphatically positive. Overall, the survey exemplified the importance of the workshops and the positive impact they are having on the lives of the young women in the Guatemalan Highlands. Through the workshops, our scholars develop real life skills which are not typically taught as a part of their schooling. The girls developed on a personal level and retained the skills developed in the program, as evidenced not just by their answers, but by their successful transition into the work force. This group of young women is truly becoming more competent and confident in their own skills. In a follow-up meeting with the group, one girl stated that “in looking for work, it’s important to have confidence in yourself”.
Still, without your continued support, this program will not be able to offer transformative experiences for young women like Silvia, who are looking to bring their bright skills, talent, and training into the workforce. Please help us generate support for this program so we can ensure that another class of extraordinary young women get the opportunity to build their job readiness skills after completing school and before entering the workforce. We are excited to see that as scholars continue to pass through the program, they are developing the skills and attitudes needed for success in the work place. Their growing confidence in themselves is empowering, and we can’t wait to see what the group achieves next!