Initiatives for Economic Empowerment
At UPAVIM, we believe that when women are economically empowered, families thrive and communities are safer. Through our income generating initiatives, the women of UPAVIM are able to support themselves, their families, and their community. UPAVIM began making simple crafts to give the women much-needed employment and to pay for the Growth Monitoring program, Montessori daycare, and Montessori school. Since then, the craft program has developed into a successful export business that won a national prize in 2001 for non-traditional textile exporting. Today, UPAVIM has five income-generating projects: UPAVIM Crafts, the K-6 Montessori School, and a community bakery, pharmacy, and library.
UPAVIM Crafts produces and sells a wide variety of quality handmade products to countries all over the world. These include beautiful, quality-crafted hair accessories, jewelry, holiday ornaments, nativities, clerical stoles, baby products, kitchen accessories, pet products, kids toys, a large assortment of bags, wallets, and more.
The bakery began in 2001 and is housed in our Annex building. The bread is sold at a small store that also sells our soy milk and other soy products. The bakery and store are self-sustainable.
K-6 Montessori School
A good education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty that pervades our community. In 2000, UPAVIM established the K-6 Montessori School to offer children from La Esperanza and neighboring communities a school where they study in a safe and stimulating atmosphere.
UPAVIM runs a local pharmacy, clinic, and medical lab to provide proper healthcare for the community of La Esperanza. The pharmacy is run by a nurse employed by UPAVIM who treats minor injuries, injections, breathing treatments and other ailments.
As the only library in La Esperanza, its books are available to the immediate community, UPAVIM school, tutoring center, and visiting students from other schools and neighborhoods. The library is run by an incredibly dedicated woman from the community who has gone on to receive additional training in running a library.