Women are literally weaving their way to economic stability in the Bolivian villages of Muramaya, Irpa Chacoma Grande, and Hichuraya. Along with partner NGO’s, CHOICE Humanitarian is teaching skills to women on weaving looms, knitting and sewing machines, handcraftsmanship, and crocheting. Partners in Torino, Italy are also playing an important role by supporting the construction of schools that provide training in marketable handicrafts.
The women have organized a group called Sum Q'hora. With advice from WorldStock Fair Trade, a division of Overstock.com, CHOICE is working with Sum Q’hora to enhance their products with appealing styles, models, colors, sizes, and other features. CHOICE also helps with the documentation necessary for women to legally export their products. On two CHOICE expeditions, Ohio State University students helped train women in Muramaya how to successfully organize and manage a business for profit.
The big news is that the efforts are starting to pay off. Sum Q’hora is now exporting goods to Italy and will soon be selling products in other European countries and the U.S.
Many of the women in the organization are single, have children, and are devoted to agriculture and to the care of their livestock. Often their husbands have migrated to cities and even abroad to improve their lives. Some have never returned. In many cases fathers and husbands have completely abandoned their families. Through Sum Q’hora women are gaining hope for the future by creating an ongoing source of income for their families and for their communities.
Thanks to contributing writer: Maxima Mendoza
Daysi Condori is President of Sum Q’hora. Read her story.
In April, 2010, CHOICE Humanitarian Nepal In-Country Director Bishnu Adhikari and leaders of Lamjung District were welcomed to an audience with the President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav. Bishnu briefed President Yadav on the CHOICE working model in many rural communities in Nepal including the importance of working with the people on the initiatives envisioned/planned by them. When a village applies the CHOICE model, it creates enthusiasm and hope in the community, widens the vision of community leaders and helps leverage resources for village projects. “The President showed a special interest in the CHOICE Humanitarian model of self-development particularly in the income generation part of the program,” Adhikari reported after the meeting, “He is keenly interested in programs to eliminate poverty.”
Follow up reports on CHOICE progress in Nepal will be submitted to the President’s office on a regular basis. By creating ‘social capital’ with leaders on all levels, CHOICE generates more strength in gathering resources to help individual villages and multi-village districts.