We are excited to share that our team recently visited one of our service areas in Hidalgo, Mexico from March 6-10, 2019. Our Board Directors (Jennifer, Kylee, Needham, and Juan) along with volunteers Janelle (Canada) and Alfredo (South Carolina) checked in on the Refugio (Refuge) and spent time with the women conducting women's empowerment workshops and painting their space to make it more comfortable for them.
Last year, we connected with The Refugio (Refuge) to support services to women who are escaping drug or sex trafficking or healing from substance abuse. Such services for women in the area are rare so The Refuge accepts women coming from all three of those situations. The empowerment workshop topics were about fear, courage, and new beginnings. The women shared more of their personal stories with our team and they send their thanks to YOU. Your support has allowed the partnership with the Refuge to continue so new beginnings are possible for the women who reach the doorstep.
We saw that the women coming to the Refuge did not have many employment skills and decided to bring Maridadi Skills to the mix. We look forward to further expanding our workshops in the community for women where they learn income generating skills. The women who complete The Refuge or who participated with us in the local prison can attend these workshops with us in the community! Sewing and pottery are lucrative businesses in this region of Mexico and the workshops may lead to gainful employment or even their own small business hopefully! We partner with the local master crafters who do this for a living and they are just as happy to teach the women these skills! We enjoy bringing back the hand crafted pieces to make them available which then provides additional support for the supplies, materials, and master crafter teachers involved.
Wondering about the prison? We visit the local prison to distribute hygiene packs to the women and share women's empowerment topics. The prison does not allow us to take photographs inside, but the prison officials are grateful for the support the women are receiving. Prison facilities in other parts of the world are not like those in other countries and basic needs are just not met in such places. Our time in the prison was more limited this trip, but we look forward to returning again later in the year to provide additional empowerment group topics that give the women a chance to consider their next steps... hopefully it will be a seat in Maridadi Skills classes in the future.
Thank you for your continued partnership in this important work around the world! Stay tuned for an update from our upcoming ground our work in Kenya from April through August 2019! Throughout those months, we have several Board Directors that will be on the ground at different times, some for many weeks at a time!