Here we share with you the different activities performed by the Tlalana team in the last few months.
In April we opened an invitation for students aiming towards a bachelors degree in areas like Sociology, Intercultural Development and Management and Sustainable Management of Coastal Areas from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) to train as Tlalana facilitators. The goal was for them to be able to promote comunity projects by working with the local youth later on. About 22 people arrived at the first meeting and 15 of them finished their training in June. We expect these new facilitators to start working with groups of young people sometime next month.
Our other training facilitators are doing great! The group in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas along with Germinalia A.C. completed the training phase and about 20 young people from the area developed 6 projects to take to their home communities. The young people involved in the project all come from indigenous communities in Los Altos, Chiapas, and the six projects they created where assessed by the Avancemos program of Ashoka and received seed capital. A representative from the Tlalana coordination visited San Cristobal de las Casas this summer to sign a permanent collaboration agreement with Germinalia A.C.
Besides these achievements, the seamstresses group from the manufacturing industry in Puebla, constituted the Cooperativa Mujeres Insumisas (Unsubmissive Women Cooperative) and received their first donation from a French organization. With this money the women were able to buy their first two sewing machines and to produce a first batch of denim purses. By selling these purses they should be able to recover their investment and buy more sewing machines to increase their production.
The Xúchil, Veracruz group, composed of 13 women and one man, decided that their first project would be a community café which should provide employment opportunities and a meeting place for young people and for the whole community. They have done an impressive lobbying job with the local authorities which ended in the donation of a lot by the ejidatarios (land owners) assembly for the group to build the café in. This group is called La Voz de la Juventud: ideas, proyectos y desarrollo (The voice of the youth: ideas, projects and development) and they are currently determining the budget they will need to build and run their initiative.
We have great news in the funding area. We were one of the winning initiatives for the Fondo para la Juventud Urbana of UNHABITAT (an agency by the United Nations). Whit this funding we will be able to open 5 more groups in Mexico City and its suburbs and to have a symposium where all our groups will share their experiences. We will also create a consulting team that will join the Tlalana Network to provide expert advice to each group on the specific topics pertaining their projects.
This month, the coordination team of Tlalana: Autogestión y Jóvenes, has been working in the mid-term (2011-2013) plans of the project. In the remaining months of this year we will focus on complying with the basic requirements to improve the impact of the project by developing new tools and increasing the number of groups we work with.
We repeat our invitation to you to send us comments or any other kind of feedback, as well as to get further involved with the project in a closer manner