After more than a year of working with the New Horizons Association, women who survived from gender-based violence shared their experiences and achievements with Sarah Charles, Assistant to the Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance; Haven Cruz-Hubbard, director of USAID in Guatemala; and with Jamille Bigio, USAID’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality.
Those women participate in the project “Women Knitting Lives Free of Violence”, a community program that enhances the protection and means of subsistence of women and girls, and which was implemented in the departments of Quetzaltenango, San Marcos, Quiché, Izabal, Alta Verapaz, Huehuetenango, and Totonicapán.
At CARE Guatemala, we promote the protection of survivors of gender-based violence and of their economic autonomy, which we consider a key factor of their recovery. This is why we work with our partners on protection processes that include the prevention, risk mitigation, and response to gender-based violence, in addition to working on their economic recovery and market systems, thus promoting the restoration of their previous means of subsistence and the development of new ones.
The female survivors presented their business projects to the USAID delegation. “Before, I was only selling the chocolate wrapped in paper, but after the project I added my brand on it, I made special packaging and started promoting it. That’s how my profits increased,” one of the participants mentioned.
The objective of the project is “to guarantee the protection and economic autonomy of vulnerable women and girls and/or those who have suffered from gender-based violence -GBV- especially if it was increased by the pandemic and by food insecurity, and if they live in marginalized areas of Central America (Guatemala and Honduras)”.
Thanks to the support provided by USAID, we have been able to strengthen the prevention, care, and protection of female survivors of violence; and it allowed us to