Wakami believes that we are capable of creating the lives we want by helping one another. We see women in rural communities as catalysts for positive change. We see their potential and do what we can to give them jobs.
Wakami doesn’t just teach them the bracelet weaving techniques. We train women in rural communities with scarce resources to become entrepreneurs. In the workshops, they talk about self-esteem and empowerment. Wakami presents new ideas to them about themselves and what they can accomplish.
The Dream Workshop
It’s the first step of their journey with Wakami. The facilitators encourage women to talk about their fears and dreams with each other. Some of the women don’t know what a dream is. In this workshop, for the first time, they learn what dreams are. As the first meeting ends they have to draw their dream on a white sheet of paper and share their hopes with the group. The drawing is kept so they can see it often so they know what they are working for.
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Women learned the techniques to weave all the bracelets. When they are ready Wakami helps them open their own business. The facilitators accompanied them to open their bank accounts. They taught them how to pay taxes, and how to write bills.
Each group is different but they face similar adversities.
Sometimes communities are very far away and it’s hard to reach them.
Other times the producers have to travel to Guatemala City and it can be expensive.
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Most of the women are mothers and it can be difficult to balance the workshops with their kids. Some women don’t know Spanish, or they don’t know how to read and write. There are some cases in which men in the communities don’t like that women work. But once their husbands start to see the financial benefit they become supportive. After two years of hard, they graduate with their own legal business. And Wakami is their first customer.
Wakami knows that women with jobs get empowered and empowered women can dare to dream. With dreams and economic resources, women have changed their own lives. Their families, and even their communities have felt that change.
Women spend their money in their family, especially their kids. 89% of Wakami children go to school. Wakami children have 75% higher school attendance than the national average. For some the women, their mothers didn’t let them go to school so they dream that their children graduate. Some have graduated high school and even university. Like any mother, they dream to see their kids happy and fulfilled.
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With the nutritional workshops, Wakami teaches women how to cook healthier food. Their nutrition has improved. Some women have gone back to school and have graduated. Others have opened their own business or have improved their houses too.
The bracelets have brought prosperity to women who had scarce resources. To women that couldn’t fulfill their potential. They have changed the way they think about themselves and others. It wasn’t an abrupt change, it happened every day with simple but deliberate actions. Today some have achieved their dreams and others are on their way to do it as well.
What the bracelets do
All of us are dreamers. We have battles that we must overcome so we can achieve what we aspire. It’s hard to forge an unknown path and hope is essential to do it. Bracelets are companions in our everyday life; they can inspire us and remind us of our dreams. Because of their journey, Wakami bracelets have become symbols of hope.
Wakami bracelets are really special because they are full of meaning. The meaning is personal, as struggles and dreams are. We are not alone on the path to accomplishing our goals. We need each other in order to build the lives that we want. These bracelets have changed lives because they bring hope to people all over the world. And I wish that in a way they can bring you hope too.