Empower Indigenous Women in Brazil

Strengthening Indigenous Women and their Communities A crafts training and marketing program aimed at providing income-generation opportunities for indigenous women in the state of Roraima, and strengthening their organization. Location:Roraima, Northern Brazil Partner:Organization of Indigenous Women of Roraima (OMIR)

Project description

Background:The state of Roraima, in Northern Brazil, is home to the Ingaricó, Macuxi, Patamona, Taurepang, Wai Wai, Waimiri-Atroari, Wapichana, Yanomami and Yekuana peoples, totaling over 40,000 people. Indigenous peoples in the state have sought to maintain their traditional ways of life, despite growing development pressures. They are also increasingly seeking sustainable income-generating activities. Indigenous women are often at the head of such initiatives, given their attachment to their land, culture, and families. The Organization of Indigenous Women of Roraima (OMIR) works with women from all nine indigenous peoples of Roraima, and focuses on promoting the role of women in their communities. Through this project, OMIR seeks to promote traditional crafts as a way to strengthen community ties and cultural traditions in an environmentally sustainable manner.By providing women with income generating skills, they also seek to empower women to counter problems such as domestic violence and alcoholism.This project, currently in its third year, seeks to build the structural foundations for increased craft sales, and to strengthen OMIR as an independent organization. RF-US is currently seeking pro-bono marketing and graphic design expertise to support this project;please contact Program Director Christine Halvorson christineh [at] rffny [dot] org if you are interested and have skills to share. Activities: •Community crafts workshops led by master craftswomen •Leadership skills building •Improvement of tracking, quality control, administration, and accounting systems •Identification of sales venues and participation in crafts fairs

Did you know?

•Indigenous women in Roraima, as elsewhere in the Amazon, often spearhead community projects and lead efforts to preserve community and family traditions. •In March 2009, the Supreme Court of Brazil issued a final decision on Raposa Serra do Sol, in Roraima, setting an important precedent for indigenous peoples across the country. •Following the Supreme Court decision, the indigenous peoples of Roraima are increasingly pursuing sustainable development initiatives, of which crafts is one.

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