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The mission of our organization, UPAVIM, is to empower the women of our community, giving them an opportunity to improve the quality of life, for themselves and for their families. We pursue this mission by giving them access to education, employment opportunities, daycare services for their children, health care services, and programs for personal and professional development.
We are a group of 75 women who live in the marginalized communities of Búcaro, La Esperanza, El Mezquital and Villa Lobos I and II, in Zone 12 of Villa Nueva. We are all mothers and homemakers. Some of us are widows, some of us have been abandoned by our husbands or we confront alcoholism and/or domestic violence in our families. Many of us are the sole providers of economic support for our families.
We initiated this group in 1988, partnering with a Sister Parish group from Bemidji, Minnesota. Our partnership began with the development of a dental clinic program. (A growth monitoring program unveiled the problems and needs of our community through our contact with the people of this area when evaluating their children’s growth and progress -- we knew we needed to do more.) It spurred us soon after to create products to sell for income to generate funds for our programs and our salaries. We developed our handicrafts business, making it our goal to sell to the national and international markets. These early efforts have permitted us to become a self-sustaining Association and to advance toward our dreams.