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Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico

by Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C.
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico
A new community center for the women in Puebla
A new community center for the women in Puebla

Dear supporters,

It’s been over a year since our grantee partners received their grant and they have been carrying out excellent work in their communities. These are some examples:

  • The women in Mujeres de la Tierra y el Sol have begun building their new community center in Tepapayeca, Puebla. Their old one fell down with the earthquake and they have been working hard to prepare all the materials. Their new center will be built with bahareque, a traditional and natural method that combines earth, straw and bamboo sticks; all materials that can be found in the community. The center will provide them with a meeting space and a production space for the natural products they produce. These include creams, jams, lip balms, seasonings and others.
  • The women in 06600 Plataforma Vecinal y Observatorio de la Colonia Juarez, working in downtown Mexico City, have already carried out two of their workshop series to help women overcome the fear of the earthquake and be better prepared for any eventuality. The workshops include first aid, self-defense, civil protection and self-care. They have already filled out all the spots for the third series that starts in September.
  • The Mujeres Pescadoras del Manglar have already finished cleaning up two thirds of the canal that got covered up with the movement of the earthquake in Zapotalito, Oaxaca. This canal connects the lagoon where they used to fish with another one that’s connected to the ocean. After the earthquake, all the fish died and they hadn’t been able to earn a living. Their cleaning up process has already brought back some fish and shrimp species to their lagoon.
  • The women in El Sueño de Huejotengo have finished their training in carpentry and masonry, fixing their houses and building their own furniture. They are now aiming towards becoming a cooperative that sells products from avocados, a fruit that abounds in the area. Their name will be Nepanyotl Cihuatl, which means “women working for women” in Nahuatl, the original language of the area.

We couldn’t be more proud of all our grantee partners have accomplished. And thank you again for believing in us and them to lead this recovery process. We will continue updating you on our progress.

P.S.: Remember that next week is GlobalGiving’s Little by Little campaign where all small donations will be matched up to $50. It would help us so much if you could help us spread the word among your friends and family so that women in the affected communities can continue their incredible work of rebuilding their communities.

Fisherwoman in Oaxaca cleaning the canal
Fisherwoman in Oaxaca cleaning the canal
Women in Morelos building their own furniture
Women in Morelos building their own furniture
First aid workshop for women in Mexico City
First aid workshop for women in Mexico City
Risk-assessment training in Morelos
Risk-assessment training in Morelos

Dear supporters,

More than a year and a half has passed since the earth shook and destroyed so many communities in central and southern Mexico. Thanks to the support of people like you, we’ve been able to support 24 groups of women working to rebuild their communities.

Along the way, we’ve learned a few things:

  1. Most communities still do not know how to react to risks. Most places in Mexico lack security protocols on what to do in case of an earthquake or a volcano eruption. We are working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to train our grantee organizations in risk-assessment: identify what their organizations and projects’ risks are and find ways to better prepare for future disasters. As Amparo, one of our grantee partners’ coordinator expressed, “If we have another earthquake, maybe the houses will fall again, but we need to react differently. We need to stand before life in a different way, knowing that yes, it can shake again, and we are in a risk zone, but we decided to stay. We now have the tools, the skills, to get up again because we are resilient women.” UNDP is providing these workshops by geographic region so that organizations can work together on risks they share. We’ve already carried out a workshop in Morelos and, during May, the four organizations in Puebla will receive the same training. We have also partnered with UN Women that is offering these types of workshops in Oaxaca so that our grantee partners in that area can assist.
  2. People living in the affected communities still suffer from post-traumatic stress. Most of the community leaders started working right after the earthquake hit and did not stop to consider how the disaster affected them emotionally. We are providing our grantee organizations with self-care and emotional support workshops so they have the time and space to heal.
  3. The earthquake mobilized many people into organizing and implementing community projects. 11 out of the 24 organizations that we support are new organizations that require a closer follow-up to their processes. We are closely working with them to provide them with all the necessary tools (administration, legal responsibilities, communications, fundraising, and others) to become a functioning and sustainable organization once this project ends.

Once again, thank you so much for your support and for contributing to Mexico’s recovery. We will continue updating you about the progress of these projects and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Identifying risks
Identifying risks
UNDP workshop in Morelos
UNDP workshop in Morelos
Communications workshop in Pinotepa Nacional
Communications workshop in Pinotepa Nacional

Dear supporters,

At Fondo Semillas we are thrilled to share with you how the personalized accompaniment and strengthening plan is moving forward. At the beginning of the project, each grantee organization filled out a self-assessment where they determined which areas needed strengthening. Then, we had a phone call with each of them to set up their work plan, a possible date for our site visit and the type of strengthening workshop or opportunity we could provide them with.

Some of the strengthening workshops we have provided include:

  • Alianza Cívica Pinotepa Nacional, one of our grantee organizations, received a two-day workshop in communications from La Sandía Digital, an agency that focuses on strengthening grassroots organizations in internal and external communications.
  • Serapaz, a nonprofit that specializes in security protocols, met with the members of Escuela para Defensoras en Derechos Humanos y Ambientales. Benita Galeana A.C., another of our grantee organizations, to assess the situation of Guerrero, one of the most dangerous states in Mexico and where they work, and determine what measures they could take to continue their work there.
  • Members of seven grantee organizations participated in a two-day strengthening workshop. Crea, a Mexican nonprofit that empowers women through economic entrepreneurship, provided a Monitoring and Evaluation training and Procura, a nonprofit that works to strengthen other nonprofits, gave a workshop in Strategic Planning.
  • Casa x Casa x Morelos received a two-day workshop in institutional strengthening from Comaletzin, a nonprofit that aims to empower women leaders.

During the last months, we have also been connecting our grantee organizations with each other and with other specialized organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Appleseed Mexico, Fundación Cántaro Azul and others. These opportunities allow them to gain new technical skills and continue growing their projects.

 

We have also been carrying out site visits where the women have told us a few things about the earthquake and their organizational process:

"When the earthquake hit, we were in shock. We looked everywhere and there were no houses or churches. The community was paralyzed and our municipal president did not know how to start. That's how we originated. We did not know each other very well from before, but we organized ourselves and started to move the community forward. "

     -       Anay, from Xochiteopan en Pie.

"In the aftermath of the earthquake, we learned that we do not have to wait for someone else to come, for men to be the ones to organize. We can also be the ones that dare to do things. Before, we did not know how or we did not think we could do it and now, together, we learned that as women we have a space within the organizational life of our town, that we should not be waiting for someone else to do it for us. Now we are daring to do things.”

      -       Yeni, from El Sueño de Huejotengo.

"We want to be able to build a community center that will become our meeting space and, in it, we can teach the next generation of girls the traditional loom and Nahuatl. We do not want to lose our culture and it is important to be able to transmit it to the whole community."

       -       Mireya, from Casa x Casa x Morelos

 

Thank you so much for your support. The rebuilding of Mexico continues at a strong pace thanks to people like you. We will continue updating you about the progress of these projects and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Administration workshop in Huejotengo
Administration workshop in Huejotengo
Site visit to Hueyapan
Site visit to Hueyapan

Links:

Working together to rebuild Mexico
Working together to rebuild Mexico

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. At Fondo Semillas, we are hoping this day will help us provide better support to the 25 grassroot groups we are already supporting that are rebuilding their communities after the two earthquakes that hit central and southern Mexico on September 2017. With these funds, we are bringing stregthening opportunities to the groups to support their projects and help them become more professionals in their work, such as communications and adminsitration workshops, risk-management trainings, monitoring and evaluation capacity development, and many others.

GlobalGiving is carrying out a matching funds campaign to all donations that come in through their platform today (or until funds run out). Besides, we are elegible for a 100% match through the Mexico Earthquake One-Year Anniversary Matching Campaign. Even though we are more than grateful for your past support, we would love for you to consider Fondo Semillas for your Giving Tuesday or end-of-year donation. And please tell your friends and family about our project.

Once again, we are so grateful for your trust in Fondo Semillas and your support of Mexico's rebuilding process. Together, we can help Mexico be strong again. 

Group Strengthening Meeting
Group Strengthening Meeting

Dear supporters,

At Fondo Semillas we are thrilled to share with you our accomplishments for the month of October for the project “Women Rebuilding their Communities”. During the 10th, 11th and 12th of October, two representatives of each grantee organization participated in a Group Strengthening Meeting in Mexico City. Several members of other organizations, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Appleseed Mexico, Las Reinas Chulas, Ruta Cívica and Fundación Cántaro Azul, facilitated the meeting and provided training in their specific area of expertise.

During the meeting, the grantee organizations were able to share their experiences and challenges and receive administrative and technical skills to improve their projects and avoid future risks. They were also able to gain helpful tools in administration, communication and participatory methods to apply in their own communities. Some of the reflections and conclusions were:

“The threat of a future disaster continues, but the rebuilding process is an opportunity to organize ourselves, take precautions and be alerted; to improve and not be as vulnerable as we used to be.” Mónica, from 06600 Plataforma Vecinal y Observatorio de la Colonia Juárez.

“One of the barriers to the reconstruction process is the lack of funds. Sometimes, open calls for funding are released, but with endless and unreachable requirements for the women that work in the communities. And usually, the available funds are meant for the reconstruction of houses, but not for the rebuilding of the community. There are very few resources such as the ones provided by Fondo Semillas.” Cecilia, from Unión de Pueblos de Morelos.

We are also happy to share with you some of the successes of the groups:

  • Una Mano para Oaxaca has been painting murals in the community highlighting some of the traditional trades and increasing the pride of belonging in the community members.
  • El Sueño de Huejotengo has already imparted mason and electricity workshops to women. They have also trained themselves to recover the traditional custom of painting houses with mud, so that the newly rebuilt houses by the government look prettier and the community looks closer to what it used to look like.

We are so grateful for your trust in Fondo Semillas and your support of Mexico's rebuilding process. Together, we can help Mexico be strong again. We’ll keep you updated on how these projects move forward and we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Una Mano para Oaxaca - baker
Una Mano para Oaxaca - baker's mural
Group Strengthening Meeting in Mexico City
Group Strengthening Meeting in Mexico City
El Sueno de Huejotengo - painting houses with mud
El Sueno de Huejotengo - painting houses with mud
 

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Organization Information

Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C.

Location: Mexico City - Mexico
Website:
Project Leader:
Florencia Bluthgen
Mexico City, Mexico
$1,014 raised of $10,000 goal
 
17 donations
$8,986 to go
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