I joined Ruraq Maki’s Board last year because I was looking for a growing nonprofit working on improving women’s rights. As a woman, especially as a white privileged woman, I always felt the need to give back to others who did not get the same opportunities. Meeting Amanda convinced me that Ruraq Maki was the organization I wanted to support because she identified real needs in both Bolivia and Peru and I want to help her grow the programs she started. The women ask about when she’s coming back months in advance because they know how much of an impact the programs make on their lives.
To me, Ruraq Maki offers isolated women a real chance at economic independence by organizing workshops that not only train and help them build a full skill set, but also because we believe in their abilities and they start to do the same.
For example, in last summer’s business development workshop the new instructors said the incarcerated women were amongst the brightest that had attend their workshop. Amanda said that the instructor, “Spoke about financial accounting and demonstrated an easy, yet effective way, to keep track of earnings, spending and profit (or loss). The women were walked through an example and they got a sense of the way money flows in and out of the business. One of the women was incredible at doing math in her head and she was shouting out sums and products while the rest of us were still scratching our heads, trying to understand the equation.”
Another thing I especially like is the intergenerational approach of Ruraq Maki. For example, last summer in Independencia we first met with mothers and grandmothers and then had another jewelry class with younger girls. It is great to be able to reach these communities in their entirety. They have different perspectives on life and experience, of course, but all can learn from each other, improving their future as a community.
Finally I want to say I am proud to be part of an organization using fair trade practices as I truly believe this is a big part of the solution towards ending inequality.