Women Environmental Defenders

CASA allied with all South American Women’s Funds to support Women Environmental Defenders. We invest in women who struggle to defend their rights, and those of their communities, to protect their territories, maintain their cultures, improve their lives in a healthier environment, whether they are in the forests, country or cities.  See some examples of groups we fund:

 

Cultural reclaiming: traditional pottery of the Waujá women

In 2012, CASA supported the Makulatain project, that aimed at rescuing the traditional Waujá pottery, traditionally produced by the women. In the attempt to maintain the cultural and traditional aspects of the producing their pottery, they organized workshops involving the elders and the young women of the village, so they could revitalize those ancient practices and help the young to learn more about their own culture and the strong relationship between their people and the forest.

The Tulukai Indigenous Association was created to defend and represent the interests of the Waujá People with public and private agencies, working to guarantee their rights and promote the Waujá culture. The Association develops activities in the areas of health, education, environmental management, and to promote the development of sustainable economic practices in the community, respecting cultural preservation and traditional ways.

Rescuing the pottery allowed them to organize an economic activity that respect traditional ways and knowledge.  The workshops involved over 50 women from the Piyulaga village of the Waujá people.

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Lapinha Women Weavers: weaving a sustainable future – Morro do Pilar, Minas Gerais

Amalapinha is an association that seeks to value the simple and traditional rural way of life, improving social, cultural, environmental, and economic conditions by making good use of the region’s surplus products. The organization provides capacity building courses, focused mainly on the young people. It creates instruments and knowledge to generate income, keeps the community living in the locality, and prevents the arrival of predatory tourism in the region. Actions are also geared to strengthen artisan traditions, concretized in the hands of Lapinha women weavers. They make straw hats from the Indaiá palm tree. Such actions help develop forms of cooperation and valorization of female work.

After the construction of the workshop building, through a project supported by the CASA Fund in 2008, the association felt the need to play a stronger role reinforcing the community’s food security. This aimed to ensure the marketing of families’ surplus production, and to guarantee the association’s own product processing. It also provided capacity building courses on financial management and planning to association members to broaden the opportunities of income generation in the community. The initiative to reinforce the work of Lapinha women weavers, who made the straw hats from the Indaiá palm tree, was born within that project. The women received training to improve their managerial practices, thus increasing their production. Over time, this group of women has been involved with other activities, but the community spirit to generate income has been preserved.

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