Through dynamic partnerships with women-run projects across the globe, WWD-F assists women and girls to transform their lives, their families, and their communities. The foundation builds the human and financial resources of these projects and thereby increases their capacity and effectiveness. WWD-F’s network extends throughout Latin America.
COSTA RICA – BIEN DE MUJER
Granos Solidarios Project
Solidarity is the firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. With this in mind, the Granos Solidarios project started in 2008 with 25 women from an impoverished urban community. The project was created as a holistic empowerment initiative. Today, this dynamic women’s group has grown to 96 women from La Carpio and San Juan de Dios, two disadvantaged neighborhoods of San Jose, Costa Rica. This program, which seeks to foster economic, physical and psychological independence for women, has become so successful that there is now a waiting list to join.
This project is about building self-awareness, self-discipline, self-management, and self-empowerment with women struggling to overcome poverty. These women work together to ensure that they and their families have food all year long. They work on collaborative income generation activities to meet their individual monthly food needs.
In addition to developing economic opportunities, Granos Solidarios conducts weekly workshops on different themes such as self-esteem, assertive communication, conflict resolution, group identity, and leadership development.
Canto al Sol Educational Center
The Canto al Sol Preschool was established to increase access to holistic education for children from low-income families. The school offers economical tuition rates as well as scholarships for single mothers who cannot afford school fees.
At Canto al Sol, aside from the traditional education of Spanish ,English, Math and Social Sciences, we emphasize participatory learning, creative expression through the arts, yoga for mind, body and spirit, as well as practical living skills such as swimming. All learning is through the medium of play, cooperative games, music and rhythms. We use classic allegorical stories to teach essential values which are at the core of the Canto al Sol curriculum.
Ilori Educational Project
Children from the most vulnerable urban areas have fewer opportunities to access knowledge and experiences that contribute to their holistic development. The Ilori Educational Project offers opportunities for recreation, psycho-emotional support and academic reinforcement for a group of children in the low-income communities of La Carpio and San Juan de Dios. These children share and learn personal and social skills through their interaction in the weekly and monthly workshops organized by the foundation. In the weekly workshops, approximately 60 children take advantage of extracurricular support, healthy eating, and social and creative skill development.
Each month, the project organizes a special workshop attended by 150 children between the ages of 3-13 years old. These workshops are geared to awaken an interest in art , learning, and cooperation. They provide unique experiences for the children, outside of their normal environment, usually in places they have never seen before.
Haiti is the poorest country of the Western Hemisphere, suffering from high unemployment, social unrest, natural disasters, sanitation and health problems, and endemic poverty. On January 12, 2010, a powerful 7.3 earthquake rocked the southeast coast of Haiti, including its capital city, Port-au-Prince, Over 200,000 people died in this disaster, and millions are homeless.
WWD-F has been working with its partner in Haiti, AMURTEL, to respond to the urgent needs of the Haitian people. AMURTEL was put in charge of 14 refugee camps where it is responsible for the needs of 8,000 people. With its skilled women animators, it is organizing and empowering approximately 2,000 women of four camps to work together to create small businesses and economic development in Port-au-Prince. AMURTEL workers are also engaging over 400 children every week with musical and educational programs.
Plans are now underway to develop an action plan to normalize conditions for the refugees and improve their lives. The idea is to create long-term sustainable living solutions for the Haitian refugees, such as the creation of eco-villages. AMURTEL already has begun the eco-village process in the city of Anse-a-Pitre by investing in land and by collaborating with Sadhana Forest, a group committed to the environment and to training children and adults in new agriculture techniques and water catchment systems. WWD-F is providing human and material resources to achieve these goals.
In Nicaragua the Sattva Vita Health and Education Center was created in 2009 as a model of accessible, affordable, integrated holistic health education and direct care, serving under-resourced communities in the semi-rural suburbs of Managua, Nicaragua. This center features a holistic clinic offering a variety of medical treatments including conventional medicines, ozone and neural therapies, massage, acupuncture, as well as homeopathic and herbal medicines.
Local residents can receive a medical consultation for as little as $1 USD, The center also encourages local women to take a more active role in their health and that of their families. On-going educational courses introduce local doctors to natural treatments, such as Neural Therapy, Iridology and Radionics.
Paraiso Alto is one of the poorest communities surrounding Lima, Peru where a stunning 90% of the residents do not have access to health services, 59% are not connected to the piped water and sewerage system, 23% do not have electric power, and as many as 25% of the children are malnourished.
With the intention of empowering the women and children of the local community, the Rurapuk Project was started in 2000 to provide employment opportunities, nutrition, education, and medical care. Rurapuk is a Quechua word of the ancient Incas that means “people who help each other”.
The project currently operates a cooperative craft manufacturing initiative that helps Peruvian women earn a living wage to support their families. The project building also serves as a community center for the neighborhood, supplying hot meals and medical assistance. Recently, the cooperative was expanded with a new production unit operated by hearing disabled women.
WWD-F partnered with AMURT Peru, the local NGO that operates the Rurapuk Project, to expand its facilities and add on additional programs. An adjacent piece of land has been purchased and construction is moving forward to create a 4-story community center that will add on a pre-school, a women’s safe house and counseling center, and an auditorium for school programs and community activities as well.
The northern coast of central Venezuela consists of many poor townships that are periodically hit by floods, rockslides, mudslides, and droughts. In December 1999 and January 2000, disastrous floods swept through coastal areas, causing many deaths, property damage and environmental problems. One of the areas hardest hit was the Barlovento region.
In 2001, the Centro Madre emerged from the disaster relief activities in the area. Working with residents of the local communities, the Center began to address the economic, health, and educational needs of the people. Its programs strive to develop community solidarity, to empower the people, and to infuse positive values in the children and youth.
Its accomplishments include the following programs and activities:
- A program called Youth in Action that engages young people in drama, art, sports and training in self-awareness and social behavior.
- A library was installed with 7 donated computers to serve the youth of the community.
- The center organizes sports teams for youth between the ages of 9-13.
- A 3-month course on the different uses of plantain, a local crop and important nutritional source, is conducted for women in surrounding villages.
- Agricultural development supplies food and income for the Center. Horticultural activity includes the planting of 600 plantain, 100 papaya, 30 mandarin, 5 lemon and 5 mango trees.
- The commercialization of food products for achieving economic self-sufficiency, including the processing of mango into frozen concentrate and jam and the production of plantain and yucca flour, ice cream, granola and other products.
- An apiculture project with 10 beehives.
- A sewing cooperative for marginalized women.