Monday, March 19, 2012

Sewing project participants open their first bank accounts

Showing their new bank accounts
On March 15 and 16th, fifteen women who have previously participated in the sewing project opened their first bank accounts.     These women are part of a joint venture between Madison Women's Health (Weave of Hope) and  Mayan Families.  These 15 women are currently producing back strap woven and hand-embroidered Guatemalan fabric which are then turned into diaper bags for Weave of Hope.  Each diaper bag is gifted to newly pregnant patients at Madison Women's Health.  This endeavor started in 2001 but this year it expanded to include the production of 600 diaper bags by the end of 2012.  

Candelaria signing her bank accout
Crafting these diaper bags is beneficial for all the women involved because they now have a steady income which has allowed them to have enough money to open their first bank accounts.  Because a lot of women in Guatemala are distrustful of banking instructions or simply ill informed about their services, bank representatives were invited to Mayan Families to chat with the women in a more intimate setting about the benefits of having a bank account.  That workshop helped to reduce the fear women had about going to the banks.   During our bank workshop  the women were able to ask many questions to dispel misconceptions about banking instructions.  They were given a chance to decide if they wanted to open accounts or not, and they unanimously decided to give it try. Their dream of having their own bank accounts became a reality last week.  We have asked the women to think critically about how they will use the earnings from this business venture and to start saving with a purpose in mind.  We are proud of each woman who opened their bank accounts and hope that more Sewing Project participants become inspired by this and decide to also take this step.

If you would like to find out more information about this venture or ways to help the sewing project, please feel  free to send an e-mail to

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