Every time you turn the channel, someone, or something, turns a new leaf. Whether it’s a stylish wardrobe on What Not To Wear or a fresh look for an older home on HGTV, the weekly cable guide is full of shows with amazing transformations. Despite having an abbreviated week full of Paschal preparations, the mothers and volunteers of Ganamos still experienced many changes and discoveries of their own in week six of their journey.
Their shortened week began with Reggie’s English class. His students were happy and excited to have him back in class after last week’s absence. The class also marked the first day of volunteering for Gissel, a bilingual volunteer. She tutored the sole Advanced English class student, Vicky, after the class lost two of its three members last week. The session was positive, but Gissel, Blase, and Patricia (the usual Advanced English teacher), realized that Vicky’s time would be better spent as a resource and helper for the regular English class. Without anyone else to instruct, the program leaders canceled the advanced class for the remainder of the program.
Tuesday’s art class was centered on a creative and unusual venture: making bowls and dishes out of old vinyl records. “Upcycling” and utilizing inexpensive materials has always been a goal of The Ganamos Project, so the moms were thrilled to experiment with their newest medium. First, everyone gathered outside. While half of the mothers were working, the other half supervised the children as they played cards and participated in ball games just outside the art room. Following directions from a website, the Ganamos moms heated their records in the oven and shaped them into dinnerware. After class, they took home as many of the donated records as they could carry, eager to try the project again at home.
Class was canceled on the fourth of April for the annual Easter party at the Family Dining Hall. Instead of meeting that Wednesday, the students gathered on Thursday and Friday for their business development lessons. Mike, the business class leader, elaborated more on the importance of each group’s business plan and how crucial their planning would be for their success. He reinforced previous lessons on determining price per product and factoring time and labor into a product’s price as well. Mike also stressed that each group needed to act collectively instead of working individually and thinking of themselves as individuals selling crafts. Instead of negocios, the informal business of individual vendors selling their wares, these women would be forming companias, small yet professional businesses. Despite their initial misunderstanding over the nature of the businesses, the women agreed. A member of the orange group admitted that sometimes all of her group members “have problems agreeing which projects to do,” but put aside their disagreements, “support one another and . . . continue to move forward.” By the end of the week, the women left for the Easter holiday with a greater realization of what they were accomplishing together and the planning and commitments they would need to make in order for their products to sell in the online marketplace and beyond.
Don’t forget to follow the blog right here on www.helpingthepoor.org, to get the latest updates on these Ganamos groups and their progress as artists and entrepreneurs.
Please contact SVDP Program Director Blase Bova at email@example.com if you would like to volunteer or donate supplies. You can also contribute to scholarships for the women’s businesses through a secure online form at https://secure5.extremezone.com/stvdpssl/donate.asp. Write the word “Ganamos” in the comments so your gift will go entirely to the women’s collective.
If you’d like to be a student in a future series of Ganamos classes, you can add your name to our waiting list here.
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