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Madres Luchadoras (fighting mothers)

Arequipa, Peru

Intiwawa is a dynamic organization that fights poverty in the slums of Peru. With our project “Madres Luchadoras” (fighting mothers), our goal is to fight for the socio and economic empowerment of mothers. Help us to keep moving forward!

Melanie Kneissl from Intiwawa e.V.
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  • What is the story/idea behind the project?
Many families in the communities of Moyeballa (Arequipa, Peru) work in brick production. Often, laborers are at risk of exploitation and the women only earn an average of 700 soles (150 €) a month. In addition to this, many of the children have to work alongside their parents from a very young age. 

The Madres Luchadoras project was born in 2018 with the aim of creating a source of work for our mothers that empowers them through their participation in textile training and leadership activities, which in turn allows them to generate a viable, alternative income to support their households without the need to disengage from the care of their children.

To learn more about how our Madres Luchadoras project evolved, please visit our blog: https://intiwawablog.wordpress.com/2021/05/06/the-story-behind-madres-luchadoras/ 
 
  • What did we achieve last year ? 
The year 2020 has not been an easy year, but we are very proud to have designed a 100% online training which succeeded in bringing together a multidisciplinary team working together on the socio-economic empowerment of our mothers through textile training, personal finance and socio-emotional support classes. At the end of this training program, 13 out of the 15 mothers successfully graduated and are now ready to start the next semi-presential phase of their  training in 2021.

We also successfully ran a Christmas campaign in Germany to sell the products woven by the mothers in 2019, which not only generated income for the mothers but also raised their self-confidence in their ability to export their products: 80% of the revenue has been paid out to the mothers and 20% will be returned and reinvested this year for our program needs. Seeing these outcomes despite the extremely challenging circumstances gave us a lot of confidence for the future of this project!
 
  • What are the next steps?
This year, using the knowledge acquired by the mothers throughout these last years, they will professionalize their skills by continuing their training both on-site and remotely. They will learn to hand-weave gloves and hats as well as use the machines to make scarves made of high-quality 100% baby alpaca, with our trainer who will supervise quality-control at every step and ensure all pieces are standardized so that they can be marketed internationally. 

  • What do we want to achieve?
Our goal this year is to produce, promote and market 300 products before the winter, for our very first official collection since we started the project. We will also continue to reinforce our mothers’ holistic training with the goal of improving their living conditions, reducing violence, teaching them to generate their own economic resources and to keep working towards the self-sustainability of this project!