Who We Are: “Mujeres Unidas” is an organization that provides vocational training, childcare, and social programming for women in one of Lima, Peru’s poorest communities. Since its inception in 2010, the women have constructed a community center and own the property that serves the 450 girls and women living in the community.
Our Mission Statement: To give an opportunity to the community of girls, women, and mothers, to learn, train, develop, and exchange ideas to move forward.
Our Objectives: 1) to provide vocational training to women and girls in the community, in the form of sewing, knitting, and business/accounting/computer classes; 2) to provide much needed social programs for women and girls in the community such as counseling, fitness, and education 3) to create more unity in the community by organizing communitywide events such as a yearly volleyball tournament.
The Community of Virgen de La Candelaria: The community of Virgen de La Candelaria is located in Villa Maria del Triunfo, Lima, and includes around 450 families. The girls and women of Mujeres Unidas conducted a survey to assess the needs in the community. They found that the average household income is between 300–600 soles per month (approximately $120-$220), the majority of the families are migrants to the city from rural areas, and have very basic education– most have not completed secondary school. The community does not have running water, sewage, a clinic, or paved streets. They live on land that was formerly a garbage dump for Lima.
Our Approach: The girls and women of Mujeres Unidas began self-organizing themselves in July 2010, using a purely grassroots and participatory process, where the women lead and make all the decisions regarding the organization. The idea is to strengthen and build off of the skills the girls and women already obtain and formalize these skills so that they are marketable.
Our Success: To date, through various fundraising projects such as “polladas,” (community fundraisers), selling food and clothes, and solicited donations, they raised 13,750 soles (approximately $5000) to buy a plot of land and construct a community center. The girls and women have implemented a daycare and two workshops– knitting and sewing; and have organized a communitywide volleyball tournament.