Six months since the graduation of the Mujeres con Vision, we have continued to work closely with the group and monitor their progress!
After the graduation, the women found themselves putting their skills to work quickly as they had a few orders lined up for World Orphans, our partner in the development of this cooperative and who continue to play a vital role in assisting with the functioning of the cooperative.
So far this year, they have taken on making additional products with gumption, eager to have skilled work to do, which is also flexible with their demanding schedules as mothers, and often, primary caregivers for their children. Although several have battled severe health issues personally and with immediate family members, the women are busy working on creating quilts for new clients, sewing coffee bags to hold the delicious Guatemalan coffee, as well as developing a new product for our new Spring | Summer collection, which will be launched in early May!
When asked how their goals have changed since the training program finished, one of the cooperative members Francis said that she knows she can now do new things. She now feels more useful to society and can better provide for her family using the income generated from working with the cooperative.
Another member Aura reflected on how being part of the cooperative has altered her future goals and said, “Well, this has totally changed the routine of my life. Maybe at the beginning it was difficult, but now over time, my emotional security changed knowing that I can do something, because before everything was different in every way. It has helped me to be here.”
In addition to product development and fulfilling orders, we are so excited to share that five of the women who graduated from this group have started a savings group together! Meeting once a month, the women have committed to saving roughly $3.50 at each monthly meeting. Every decision made by the group is done in a democratic way, as the group votes on every rule and the majority wins.
The savings is then used to make loans to the group members. Before someone is able to receive a loan from the group, everyone decides ahead of time how much a person must save before qualifying for the loan. Giving one loan a month, the women vote based on the needs of others in the group. The commitment to the group is a great for accountability, which helps enforce their own rules.
Saving for the women of Mujeres con Vision is a relatively new concept, as prior to the training program, only 50% of the women saved any of their money. With guidance, the women are learning more about the benefits of savings, continuing to develop their leadership skills and problem solving skills.
We are dedicated to supporting the growth and challenges along the way for Mujeres con Vision alongside our partnership with World Orphans and cannot see what this group is capable of in the future!
Learn more about them and shop their products here.
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