I switched my internship this morning from Mesa de Concertacion to Habitat Siglo XXI. So, I am now working for my host dad because he is one of the FIVE persons running Habitat. I also found out later that he founded Crear, a micro-finance organization in 1998. Crear recently gained status as a bank or some kinda of standard that makes it eligible for giving out more loans, I believe.
Habitat has projects that are subcontracted by larger organizations such as Carita or IADB. This morning, we went to capacity building classes that are subcontracted by the Peruvian government. Projoven program invites Peruvian young folks to attend vocational training classes, helps find jobs after the course and creates a communal sentiment among students.
This morning, we visited cooking and sewing classes. Women in the sewing class are of ages between 16 and 25 and some of them are not only teens but also mothers. When I was sixteen, I was worrying only about cute guys not liking me, not about supporting family in this machista society. All students receive transportation fees of 2.80 soles (about a dollar) and mothers receive twice so that they could use daycare services. After three months of training, these women can find jobs and earn up to 600 soles ($200) per month. If they had been selling goods on the street, their monthly income would be about only 200 soles. Some didn’t know they could earn better than this. Caroline asked the lady at sewing class what she would do if there were more funds. She replied that she wants to expand this program for elder women that are divorced or widowed. She also spoke about handicraft industry that was hard hit by Peruvian free trade agreement. She said that Peru is not ready to compete internationally yet.
I thought this was a great cooperation between the state and the civic society. Habitat rents out the place and supports instructors and axillary services. The Peruvian government pays for materials. The program is not that selective either. Only 10% of applicants are denied and selection is based on both need and merit.
I don’t know how I can help Habitat with my petty Spanish but there should be something I can do.