SOS Children’s Village Helping Empower Women in Guatemala
SOS Children’s Village has been helping people around the world to further education, rights and general wellbeing of all. For more than half a dozen years their Strengthening Program in Sololá, Guatemala, has been giving women the courage to be more active within their communities. Of the 240 plus families supported by SOS, 90% of them are female-headed households.
Mayan girls grow up preparing for their role in the home. Most girls will attend two years of primary school, if any at all. Their entire “education” revolves around learning about housework, leaving many of them illiterate. Many men take control of the jobs due to the majority of girls beginning to have children at an early age, causing them to have a higher average number of children to take care of.
To help empower the women of Sololá, SOS has started a literacy program to help develop their skills and boost their confidence. So far the program has had a great impact creating more participation of the women in their communities and to help even more, they operate a day-care center for the children of the working moms.
One woman who has benefited from SOS’s efforts is Isabel. Isabel is a mother of 12 and a grandmother of three and has raised children and taken care of house her whole life. She has never been to school because when she was growing up, her father told her “that women would not have the right to learn anything. All my brothers went, but us girls did not.” Since SOS established their program in Sololá, Isabel has taken literacy classes and can now read and write. These skills have given her the confidence to have a bigger impact on her local community. At 51 she says, “I am old, but I have never been taught anything” she explains “participating in those talks awakened my mind.”
To read about one woman whose life has changed for the better, please check out her story here: http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/charity-news/steps-towards-gender-equality-in-guatemala
To read more about other SOS programs in Guatemala, visit here: http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/sponsor-a-child/americas/guatemala/sos-children-in-guatemala