There are a lot of groups – and quite a few acronyms – involved in this endeavor, so we’ll break it down for you…
What is SIFE UVG?
The SIFE chapter of UVG (Universidad de Valle de Guatemala) is our wonderful partner for this project. SIFE – which stands for Students in Free Enterprise – is a nonprofit student organization working internationally in more than forty countries through more than 2,000 universities! SIFE designs and implements projects that promote sustainable development, much like Nourish International. The UVG chapter is in tune with the needs, limitations, and immense potential of the communities in which we will be working, so we are confident that the projects we’ve chosen will be both relevant and effective.
What is IMAGINA?
IMAGINA is a project started three years ago by the UVG SIFE chapter. It stands for Incorporating Women to Generate Income With New Actions…can you see why we like acronyms so much? There are three groups of women involved in this project: one in Guatemala City and two in El Jícaro. UCLA Nourish will be working primarily with one of the groups in El Jícaro, but we will be visiting the IMAGINA site in Guatemala City as well. Two years ago, Nourish at UCLA traveled to El Jícaro to found one of the projects that is still in motion today. We are excited revitalize and improve that project and strengthen our bond with both SIFE & IMAGINA!
Why focus on women’s empowerment?
It is proven that improving the education of the mother improves the education of the whole family, and women are statistically more likely to spend their income on food, education, and healthcare. This has the potential to lift entire families – and entire communities – out of poverty (womenthrive.org). Most of the women in IMAGINA are mothers of more than 5 children who make less than minimum wage. In addition, many of the women we are working with are survivors of sexual and domestic violence. These business ventures, when paired with financial and business education, will give these incredible women an ownership over their livelihood and the foundation for a brighter future.
Coming up next: an in-depth look at exactly what we’ll be accomplishing on our project!