Young Women’s Network

Young Women’s Network members conduct an interview.

After graduating from Voces de Cambio’s 15-week core program, participants who are interested in continuing to be part the group, who demonstrate an ability to work as part of a team, and who are eager to learn and grow are invited to participate in the Young Women’s Network.

The Network was formed in an effort to support the participants’ ongoing development as capable, confident young leaders; to foster relationships with other women’s efforts; and to build a small but growing cadre of young Guatemalans who are committed to social justice. The Network meets, on average, twice per month, and focuses primarily on projects that support local women’s organizations and initiatives.

Projects:

  • Adobe Youth Voices

    Over this past summer a number of our graduates along with some of our staff took an online training offered by TakingITGlobal, and Adobe Youth Voices. The course focused on the effective use of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements in youth programs working to promote awareness and social engagement. This course was part of a four year grant to help introduce our team to new skills and through collaborations with other organizations involved in the program discover new techniques for engaging with our youth. Our next step in the process is for our Young Women’s Network to begin implementing the plans they developed over the course of the training and then lead a series of workshops to share what they learned with other youths.

  • Advanced Radio Project

    Building on the success of our first radio project a Spanish volunteer, Jon, offered to lead an advanced radio project for interested members of the Young Women’s Network. Over the course of a month they learned the advanced use of various pieces of audio equipment, to write effectively for radio, and created radio spots in several different styles.

  • Documentary Video Workshop

    In the summer of 2011 Voces de Cambio held a documentary video workshop for our program graduates. Over the course of two months participants learned the basics of video production and in small groups wrote, directed, and shot their first short documentaries.

    To see all six of the short films produced during the course of this workshop visit our Vimeo page:

    http://vimeo.com/vocesdecambio/videos

    You can also learn more about the workshop from the project blog:

    http://vocesdecambio.tumblr.com

  • Photography workshop for indigenous women from rural communities

    As part of a partnership with the North-South Institute, the Network members led a four-part photography workshop for indigenous women from rural communities. With guidance and support from Voces de Cambio staff and volunteers, the Network participants eagerly stepped up to the plate and served as the workshop’s facilitators. The workshop participants’ photographs were highlighted at the International “Education for Life” Festival.

  • Supporting a local women’s weaving cooperative

    TRAMA Textiles, a women’s weaving cooperative based in Quetzaltenango, recently invited the Young Women’s Network to conduct a photo-essay on its partner communities. The young women visited four indigenous communities to record the weavers’ stories in a series of interviews, and to take photographs of the women and their exquisite work.

    For the girls in the Network, the project was an opportunity to learn more about their culture, and to see parts of Guatemala that they had never visited. For the women they interviewed, it was, in some cases, the first time they’d been asked to share their ideas, opinions, and recommendations. In one interview, the women volunteered painful testimony about what happened to their community during Guatemala’s civil war – a rare opportunity for them to share the truth of what happened to a younger generation that is farther removed from the horror of that time.

    The information collected in the interviews and the photographs are being used to both improve the way the association works with its partner communities, and to promote the weaving cooperative’s fair trade products.

  • Radio project on domestic violence

    In September 2007, Voces de Cambio implemented a radio project with the Network’s young women. Over the course of four months, they learned the technical, strategic, and creative aspects of creating radio spots. In December, at a press conference in Xela, they unveiled five public service announcements on domestic violence that they had produced. The radio spots are now being broadcast throughout the region, and when Voces de Cambio’s director was in town in February, a radio station called “La Voz de los Altos” conducted a 30-minute interview with two of Voces de Cambio’s participants. La Voz de los Altos’ coverage reaches all the way up to El Petén in the north; the PSA’s are heard morning, afternoon, and evening on another one of Xela’s most popular radio stations.

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