Leidy is a young indigenous woman from Colombia. Her community, the Embera Chamí, is located in the Campo Alegre mountains in Segovia, Antioquia. From a very early age, women from her community learn to knit in the local style, which is an important tradition that represents who they are and where they come from. “Everything we knit represents an ancestor.”
Leidy was able to finish her schooling, although she needed to walk for two hours each way to Segovia to take classes. She was always motivated to get ahead and bring better opportunities for her and the women in her community. Following the Embera tradition, Leidy learned to knit handicrafts. However, neither she nor her community knew how to start a business and sell their products at fair prices. “Before, we did not know how much our labor was worth or how we could put aside money.”
With support from the U.S. Department of Labor-funded Somos Tesoro project, Leidy and other women received training in accounting, management, and savings strategies. Now, Leidy is the coordinator of Wera Capipia (which means “Woman who fixes things”), a start-up. Through Wera Capipia, women from her community feel more secure in selling their products and they have participated in Colombiamoda and Expoartesanías, which are major national fashion and handicraft events in Colombia. “We want our business to grow; we now want to sell online; but above all, we want to preserve the value of our culture.”
See the complete story: https://youtu.be/YRNulF9pn64
Leidy Johana, promoting the value of her indigenous culture
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