In Amavida we are confident that supporting and empowering women, we are helping to develop the country by improving the present and the future of the entire community. We believe in their ability to generate their own income, which is key in reducing poverty and social exclusion. Being a woman in India is not easy. They are the ones who bear responsibility for the house and even in many cases also for the family economy, since in most cases there is a high degree of alcoholism in men.
We also believe that unity is strength, and our workshops have also become small venues promoters of the association. Women meet, discuss and even begin to have fun, which was unthinkable before. Through communication with them, we learn about all the problems in the slum because they themselves are reporting risk cases that we are able to consider.
We take the space of the little school on Saturday morning and 25 mothers come to her. We conduct workshops of paint on canvas. Initially, these workshops are not liked among the male community. However, nowadays, more and more women come to join them. Here they develop their creativity, away from domestic violence and are happy to learn a trade that will develop their own autonomy, self-esteem and economy in the future.
These workshops began in February 2010. We selected 15 women for a course given by the Government of West Bengal with an official for a period of 5 months. Two teachers sent by the government officials went 3 times a week to give lessons to the beneficiaries in a place that we rent. In June were reviewed and the grades were excellent throughout. Their happy faces when they received their first award said it all. They had never received anything, said one of them. Now, the 2 best women of the course will become teachers for the next women that, little by little, we will try to incorporate.
Fair Trade Initiative
Our idea now is to join both workshops, painting and sewing, to start a production that will be sold in Spain through pop-up markets, Fair Trade stores, or stores that want to collaborate in some way. We want to become a self-supply project, which means that they themselves will manage everything and will be in charge of the production process.
A basic premise for all our products is that they are going to be environmentally friendly. By participating in these workshops, we hope that women will regain their autonomy, trust and respect with their environment.