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Baubles for Becas: a benefit for Mujeres en Cambio

By Judy Rosenthal

On Friday, November 22nd, from noon until 6pm, an unusual shopping event will occur in San Miguel de Allende. We call this estate sale Baubles for Becas. At the Casa de la Noche (aka the Bordello gallery), Organos 19, Mujeres en Cambio is sponsoring a huge sale of donated jewelry, handbags, hats, scarves and vests. Because of our high initial cost of putting on this sale, we will charge an entrance fee: from 12-2pm 50 pesos, and from 2-6pm 20 pesos. We must insist on pesos only for this event—no checks or credit cards.

Baubles for Becas
To benefit Mujeres en Cambio
Fri, Nov 22, 12-6pm
Casa de La Noche
Órganos 19
50/20 pesos entrance fee

Where did we get this valuable merchandise? Gonzalo Bauer of Mexico City gave his wife’s possessions to Mujeres en Cambio in order to raise money for scholarships for rural girls in San Miguel. Mr. Bauer’s wife Patricia died a victim of cancer in July 2011. The Bauers both were personal friends of our own Marge Zap. They have donated so much merchandise that we plan to have two more shopping events after this one: one at Christmas time will be for jackets alone, and the other will include anything that up to that time has not yet been sold.

Patricia was Gonzalo’s wife of 32 years. She was clearly an extraordinary human being. She was a well-known clinical psychologist who had pursued post-graduate studies at the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City. She obtained permission from Albert Ellis himself to open an affiliate Institute in Mexico City. She thus made it possible for Mexican students to study the most advanced therapeutic methods in clinical psychology known at the time. These new methods were not available at any of the major educational institutions or universities in Mexico.

Patricia Bauer devoted her life to helping people with problems by teaching at her Institute, by forming the new generation of clinical psychologists, and by enriching the lives of everyone around her. She was a beautiful woman with a passion for gorgeous clothing and accessories. Because she was an extremely generous person, she would have been pleased to know that her collection contributed to helping disadvantaged girls in San Miguel to better their lives through education.

The education of adolescent girls has been called the key to ending poverty. Entire communities can benefit by unleashing the potential of girls. This heart of development programs has been called the Girl Effect. 250 million girls live in poverty in 2013. Adolescence is a crucial phase in the transition from childhood to adulthood for girls. A young girl growing up in poverty is often forced into early marriage and pregnancy. She is at an increased risk of domestic and sexual violence, and she is further denied the opportunity to continue her education.

We who volunteer for Mujeres en Cambio believe in two important truths—first, every girl has a right to reach her full potential; and second, that investing our energy and money in these girls makes economic sense for Mexico in the 21st century. Even one extra year of primary school increases a girl’s future wages by 10-20 percent, and an extra year of secondary by 15-25 percent. Studies reveal that 70 percent of a woman’s salary goes back into her family. Therefore, if we want to tackle a nation’s poverty, we must help its girls become women by getting them educated and employed.

Mujeres en Cambio currently helps support over 150 girls, in classes from the equivalent of eighth grade to university. Their schools’ principals and teachers recommend these promising young women. Their continued receipt of a scholarship is dependent upon their maintaining good grades. We raise and award approximately US$75,000 per year. Administrative costs are nearly zero since most becas (scholarships) are funded by donations and interest made on cash deposits. We are a legally established nonprofit organization under Mexican law.

Please join us on Friday afternoon, November 22nd, for a shopping adventure at the Casa de la Noche, Órganos 19. Bring your pesos for fabulous accessories and know you are supporting a great educational cause at the same time.


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