Just like the women in the project, I'm going through a process of transformation as well. The first months were invested in me. I needed time to arrive, learn and take responsibility.
But now I can finally give back, take off work and leave my mark a little. Since January I have been the official person in charge of childcare. And it really is a lot of fun.
Now that I have to decide for myself how to organise the day and how to deal with certain situations, I am also more passionate about it and am looking forward to seeing how much the children learn and enthusiastically listen to the stories, but also play catch in the yard joyfully and shout "Profe, Profe! when there is something to show me (Profe is an abbreviation of Profesora and means teacher).
At the beginning I had not thought that I would work with children and had applied consciously for a women's project. But you just do what you can and now the smiles and the joyful eyes enchant me every day anew.
I have been living in the project for almost two months now. I was a little afraid that it would make me too much of a workaholic and I missed the comforts of a family around me. But it's really easy to separate and I feel very comfortable, only now I am responsible for my own social activities and have to pick myself up to leave the house once a day. But thanks to the university choir, a young community and recently even Zumba, it all works out quite well.
But the new housing situation also means a kind of caretaker's job. And every time something is missing or broken, it's up to me to think about how we can best get it back, whether we can improvise it ourselves or whether a craftsman has to come.
My favourite task, however, is the "Taller". The women of the sewing course make products for Transforma. There are different models of bags and small pouches, but also soaps and key rings. So far, sales have been sluggish. Nobody took care of it and the production was a huge chaos and so my boss hired me to change this, together with another employee.
Now there is a new system and we try to make everything a little more effective. Because if it works well, we can add many more women to the courses by the sale of the products.
So it is up to me to explain the new designs and their execution to the women, to check them later and to make suggestions for improvement. Finally, I am working directly with the women and I can actually do a lot on the subject of sewing.
After all, I am not the daughter of a costume designer for nothing.
In spite of the completed sewing course of the women here, it is still about the simplest basic knowledge and I can keep up well.
At the same time we always do empowerment and try to encourage the women to think a little more economically and to help them figure out how they work best. Little by little, I better understand how to explain things, that they understand me and that in the end the product actually looks the way we imagined it to look. It challenges me to talk about fabric qualities and sewing techniques in Spanish, but of course it is great practice. And it's fun to use my strengths and to bring in creative ideas.
These photos were taken during a distribution of gifts in one of the slums. If you would like to read more about it, just check out my blog: