| ESPERA Highlights |
Nine New Women Welcomed to ESPERA!
and Other Updates from Auxiliadora Salgado,
Local Coordinator of Red de Mujeres Nicarahualt, Nicaragua
Several of the new members of the Red de Mujeres Nicarahualt with their family members. The group, who call themselves Mujer de Fe y Esperanza, asked to become a part of the ESPERA network in Nicaragua after witnessing the success women in neighboring communities were having by investing in their businesses with an ESPERA loan.
As the success of women participating in ESPERA grows - so does the number of women involved!
Recently, nine new women approached the ESPERA network, Red de Mujeres Nicarahualt, and asked to be included in the ESPERA program. These women belong to a village named Nindiri Masaya in Nicaragua.
The women had seen the success of ESPERA participants in the nearby communities that make up the Nindiri region. In particular they had witnessed two collectives, named "Delicias de Mi Tierra," and "Sol de Vida, Pan de Vida," whose businesses were seeing strong returns on investment. After hearing about the women's experience with ESPERA, the women of Nindiri Masaya wanted to be involved.
The local ESPERA coordinator, Auxiliadora Salgado, recently met with the group to explain the requirements of being in the ESPERA program, as well as the process for initiating their participation. Continue reading here.
ESPERA Women Learn Recordkeeping Skills to Improve their Businesses
Auxiliadora also shared with us updates of her recordkeeping training. Auxiliadora has a university degree in accounting and, over the last few months, she has been traveling to the groups that compose the Red de Mujeres Nicarahualt to train the women on how to keep good records. She is helping the women understand how to track the cost of parts and labor, so they can adequately price their products. She is also teaching them how to keep records of their cash flow, what they produce, and what they sell.
While some women admit this is a tedious process, others have said that keeping good records has improved the success of their businesses. Continue reading here.
Visit our YouTube channel and listen to powerful stories of women's experiences in the ESPERA program, and their journeys of self-empowerment and community building.
| Issues of Justice|
Remembering Those Who Risk for a Better World
by Katherine Wojtan, Executive Director
This past weekend was Memorial Day, a time to honor our fallen soldiers. I am grateful for the freedoms I have because of their actions - I am moved by their courage and sacrifice.
Taking the time to remember our men and women in uniform reminds me of the many people who take personal risks for the well-being of others. Their compassion and daring is awe-inspiring. Each contributes to peace in his or her own way. I list these folks here as a litany to their life and the work they do to improve the world for all of us:
Activists around the globe willing to protest and occupy to bring about just communities and policies,
using nonviolent resistance:
- In the United States many protestors risk tear gas or pepper spray. In other parts of the world, protestors risk injury, torture, imprisonment or death.
- Communities, including indigenous peoples, protect the resources of Mother Earth by putting their bodies in the way of bulldozers.
- Artists, such as Pussy Riot, a punk rock band in Russia, who risk and suffer imprisonment for using their art to call for more freedom and openness in their countries. Continue reading here.
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Mary's Pence News
Mary's Pence Completes Fiscal Year 2014-2019 Strategic Plan
Last month, at the Mary's Pence board meeting we completed our strategic plan for the next five years - and we can't wait to share it with you! Thanks to your input, as well as that of the women we work with, we've created an exciting vision of growth for Mary's Pence, as well as concrete steps to accomplish this vision. Over the next month we will be rolling out our strategic plan on our blog. Be sure to follow along and share any questions or comments you have. We are able to envision a world of empowered women because of your support and feedback, and the involvement of the entire Mary's Pence community.
We Love to Meet Our Supporters!
Do you live in the St. Louis, Nashville, or Memphis area? Then come visit Mary's Pence at the following upcoming events. Up to date information about these events will be posted on our events page.
Association of U.S. Catholic Priests National Assembly
June 23-26, 2014 - St. Louis, MO
Mary's Pence will be present at the Assembly - stop by and visit our booth! We'll be especially sharing ways to use Mary's Pence materials to assist with your parish's social justice activities.
August 13-16, 2014 - Nashville, TN
Mary's Pence will be exhibiting at the LCWR Assembly and hosting a wine and cheese reception. If you are attending the conference please visit our exhibit, and let others know we will be present.
November 7-9, 2014 - Memphis, TN
Mary's Pence will be exhibiting at the conference, hosting a wine and cheese reception, and giving a workshop entitled, "Making Moral Economic Systems." The workshop will feature Mary's Pence Executive Director, Katherine Wojtan, ESPERA Facilitator, Gilda Larios, and Vicki Meath, Executive Director of Mary's Pence grantee, Just Economics.
We hope to see you at one, or all, of these venues - stay tuned for more details!
We envision a world where empowered women and their communities flourish in solidarity and justice. Mary's Pence invests in women across the Americas by funding community initiatives and fostering collaborations to create social change.
Imaginamos un mundo en el cual, las mujeres empoderadas y sus comunidades, florezcan en solidaridad y justicia. Mary's Pence invierte en iniciativas comunitarias de mujeres en las Américas y fomenta la colaboración para crear cambio social.
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Peace is every step.
The shining red sun
is my heart.
Each flower smiles
How green, how fresh
all that grows.
How cool the wind blows.
Peace is every step.
It turns the
endless path to joy.
-Thich Nhat Hanh