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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Women Work Together

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Relief

Mission: The mission of Women Work Together is to raise the socio-economic status of Guatemalan women and girls by cultivating and strengthening their ability to work effectively in groups and aspire to leadership, thus accelerating positive changes in their lives and in their communities.

Results: During 2010 Women Work Together made 2 working trips to San Pedro Sacatepéquez, spending a total of 7 weeks there working directly with over 1500 women and girls from rural villages, plus 30 U.S. and Guatemalan volunteers. More specifically, • WWT established an ongoing Leadership Institute program for junior high age girls to include follow-up through the girls’ transition to young adulthood. • WWT visited ten rural Girls Clubs (average size 35), each started by girls from our Leadership Institute. The members briefed us on their progress and plans, and we facilitated team-building workshops. • WWT worked with the City to establish a paid team of extension workers whom we are training to support our work with Women’s Groups and Girls Clubs in 14 villages. • WWT recruited Girls Club members’ mothers and community mentors to collaborate with our extension workers and the girls’ teachers to support each Club. • WWT continued working with Women’s Groups, offering more than 30 workshops on team building and empowerment. During 2011, Women Work Together will return to San Pedro with volunteer teams in March and November. On each trip we will advance our Leadership Institute and Women’s Workshops, work with Girls’ Clubs, train local extension workers, and strengthen our partnership with the SPS Women’s Office. We will also incorporate two new emphases: • WWT will introduce Madres e Hijas (Mothers and Daughters) a program to join the two generations in their efforts to educate girls. The Women’s Workshops will provide a place for mothers to strategize around the challenges of sending their daughters (even just one) to school and consider the effects on their lives of their own lack of education. • WWT will step-up our recruiting and training of local university students, mothers, and community members to work with the Women’s Office team year round, and alongside our U.S. volunteers during our field trips.

Target demographics: Our primary target is junior high age girls 12-16 years old in the Mayan highlands of Guatemala, along with women in these same villages, the girls' teachers, a dedicated corps of municipally-funded extension workers, university-based interns and other community volunteers.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Nearly 100 girls attend the Leadership Institute; the14 Girls Clubs membership totals 500 + girls; Womens Workshops touch another 500 + women; trainings for outreach workers, teachers, interns and other SPS volunteers impact some 50 people; about 20-25 volunteers travel to San Pedro to work with us and staff our workshops side-buy-side with our partners there.

Geographic areas served: San Pedro Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, Guatemala

Programs: Leadership Institute for Junior High Age Girls, Girls Clubs, Book Circles, Women Workshops, Trainings for City staff, teachers, university interns and community volunteers.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women Work Together continues to do remarkable work in San Pedro Sacatepéquez, advancing girls' leadership, raising the visibility of educated girls and strengthening family and community commitment to sending their daughters to school. With each working visit, our Guatemalan partners take more ownership of the participatory programs and are now running them year round on their own.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I just returned from my 4th volunteer trip to Guatemala on behalf of Women Work Together in less 18 months. It's exciting to report that WWT is successfully building capacity on the ground in San Pedro Sacatepequez to engage, educate and empower girls and women there around our core campaign: Manda Tu Hija a La Escuela (Send Your Daughter to School). With good reason, I am very optimistic about the terrific working partnership with the Oficina Municipal de la Mujer (Women's Affairs Office) and other San Pedro community leaders.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Having worked in the field of community development during my professional career, I have more than a familiar understanding of what Women Work Together are facing in attempting to forge new understandings and new roles for women. At present I believe they have a sterling record. Why do I say that? They are gaining support at the community level where support counts most. The organization has garnered political support at the local and prefecture levels of govt. Without that support no lasting effect will be achieved. Last but not least I put money where my "mouth" is - I support the organization financially.
Frank Dobyns

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What these women are doing in and for Guatemala is truly stunning--a humanistic endeavor in the best senses of that bloated phrase. As a Hispanic professor of Engish, I regularly read in the NYTIMES or hear on the BBC about women being helped in Africa or Afghanistan or Indonesia. Less often do I hear about the path breaking work being done for women in Central or South America. Both the dedication and the achievements of Women Work Together should have broad recognition. I celebrate your organization and wish you a brilliant future.