Poverty: a story from the past? (Challenge)


One of the first things that hooked me to #Faces2Hearts was having the opportunity to see in first hand how projects are able to improve someone’s life. It gave me hope, I wanted to see it with my own eyes and I couldn’t wait to hear all about it and share it with the world.

And while visiting a project last week in Cusco, I went back to that feeling, back to that motivation. I don’t know if the feeling of gratefulness I perceived in the beneficiaries was what pushed me to reconnect with that, but I’m glad it happened. I’m also glad my dear friend and fellow blogger Lauren challenged us to link one of the projects to one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In numbers, organization and hard work, there’s strength.

A few years ago, weavers in Pitumarca were doing something brave: they were keeping their traditions alive no matter what. According to what we talked, people stopped weaving for quite a few years, and the ancestral knowledge related to art and fabrics was slowly fading. Until this group of amazing human beings (and others) decided to create a cooperative and prevent that from happening. And in theory, everything was going great… their goal to save their traditions was checked on the ”to do list”, but they lacked some very important things: the know-how to run the cooperative and nothing less but the market.

This is where ASPEM an EU financed NGO, comes in. They heard the concerns of the cooperative and analyzed the way they could support them and then jumped into action. Every single member of this cooperative received training in different areas: administration, legal aspects of a cooperative, design and marketing of their products. Since then, their incomes have improved significantly and they’ve been more consistent. This reflects directly on their quality of life, their access to basic things like food, water, decent housing, and education.

Projects like this create a brighter future for kids like José Ángel, Nelly’s son (a member of the cooperative)

So, thanks to their hard work and the support received by ASPEM and the EU, the members of this cooperative and their families are stepping away from poverty, which is precisely the goal #1 in the SDGs and as a bonus, this also supports the 5th SDG which is working towards achieving gender equality. 

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