Partner Profile:

Just Associates (JASS) GUATEMALA

What I See

We believe that injustices and inequalities touch us and hurt all of us.

If all people can access a decent life, and if we manage to have more harmonious relationships in our societies and with our natural environment–we can build stronger and more supportive communities.

Women are everywhere the most affected by poverty and violence, but they are also the most resilient.

Women in Guatemala make up more than 50% of the population. At least half of the Guatemalan population is of Mayan (indigenous) origin and the majority are under 30.

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Their role of caring for the family, of ensuring that daughters and sons have a plate of food at least every day, of ensuring that there is water for survival, of contributing to the well-being of the community, places a heavy burden on their shoulders.

And the macho culture naturalizes violence against women. Guatemala has the third highest rate of femicides in the world.

Increasingly, indigenous and rural women have been assuming leadership roles in their communities and in processes of seeking justice. If we achieve that women strengthen their knowledge and value it, strengthen their leadership and their power to transform in their homes and in their communities, we will be making a fundamental contribution to the whole of society.

What I’m Proud Of

We are very proud of the contribution we have made to strengthen the leadership and collective power of women in Guatemala–and throughout the Mesoamerican region.

We also share our knowledge and training tools (and those of our allies) with our colleagues in the Southeast Asia and South Africa.

Our Alchemy School is a space that strengthens the leadership of women defenders of life, and contributes to inter-generational dialogue.

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It contributes to the collective protection of women in a context of increasing violence, fostering alliances between them and their organizations and communities.

This strengthens the Individual and collective self-assessment of indigenous and rural women, and it strengthens their links with other women in Guatemala.

I Feel Happy When

When a woman tells us that our training process has been an experience that has marked her life and it has contributed significantly to strengthening her self-esteem, and her leadership in the community with other women.

When a woman is in a safe place to express herself, feel, heal.

When a woman shares her personal stories about how she broke ties of violence.

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When we are companions from a path of sister twinning: A very prominent indigenous leader currently said at a public event: “JASS has contributed a lot to women and communities; it does not impose on us but accompanies and complements our knowledge and our needs.”

What’s Surprising Is

All the work we do is done in partnership. We work with other organizations, for example, to select the participants in our processes, co-create methodologies, validate our collective processes.

But we have a limited capacity to be able to respond to all the demand we have. We have lots of requests to spread more our educational tools that pay for self-care and collective protection of women. We have requests to generate small income initiatives.

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We have requests to reach more communities, and to respond to emergency situations in the face of violence. We also have requests to build virtual methodologies and improve women’s access to basic technology so they can share their experiences and support each other.

A Direct Grant

We need flexible supports that help us respond to the needs that are presented to us in our most permanent training course.

For example, we would like to fund follow up on our face-to-face training initiatives, but also be able to do training through alternative, virtual, radio, impact audiovisual products, supporting women with technological equipment and internet access.

We want them to be able to access these training processes in different ways, so they can expand their communication networks and strengthen their networks of care and political work.

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We also need that the situation of women and communities that defend the environment in the country and in the region (and who are criminalized and persecuted for their defense work) be disseminated as much as possible.

We want a long-term relationship with a grantor, who knows the peculiarities of our work and creates with us in strengthening the leadership and collective power of women for profound transformations.

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Make a Direct Grant?