100 Women Who Care Awards Grant to Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora

Teri Kavanagh, Susan Page, Ezequiel Mojica, Daniela Franco, Kathy Devine Alice Garcia, Emilia Vega

By Lee Bellavance Diamond

With its usual alacrity, the 100 Women Who Care of San Miguel collected a record 76,250 pesos and voted to award the grant to the local rural development nonprofit, Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora, during the last meeting of 100 Women on October 19 at the Rosewood Hotel.

There were also two special guests in attendance at the quarterly meeting. Emilia Vega, San Miguel’s new first lady, was presented to the group and she graciously explained her traditional role, as the mayor’s partner, in DIF as well as in promoting other charities and the work of nonprofits. Next Teri Kavanaugh, San Miguel’s new liaison with both NGOs and the expat community, was introduced. She invited group members to come to her new office across from the Jardín for support with any NGOs.

Then the real work of 100 Women began. The program is extremely simple by design: Women (singly or in teams) pledge 4,000 pesos per year in cash, which is distributed to a nonprofit on a quarterly basis. Participants nominate nonprofits, with the names of all being put in a hat. Only three are selected to give presentations to the group, who then vote for a “winner” to get the grant! The only red tape is the requirement that the recipient group report back on the use of the funds for five minutes at the next meeting.

So, at this same meeting, Libros Sin Fronteras reported on the truck they had purchased for a mobile library to serve rural communities, using the grant they received at the last meeting of 100 Women.

The three groups that were drawn out of the hat made their pitches to the women. This time the three were CASA, Feed the Hungry, and Apoyo.

CASA has been instrumental in expanding health care services for women, especially in their highly acclaimed midwife program. Gary Peterson of Feed the Hungry said his organization would purchase a walk-in cooler so their program could expand its fresh produce offerings if they won.

Apoyo representatives Daniela Elena Franco and Ezequiel Mojica explained how their organization underwrites several development projects in the rural community, including the funding of interest-free micro loans for small business development and programs to help high school students prepare for the transition from school to work life or higher education.

It was Apoyo’s program for students, providing English lessons, library access, and computer training, that the assembled ladies voted to fund to the tune of 76,250 pesos!

One participant mentioned that it was the youthful enthusiasm of the Apoyo representatives that had captured her vote. “It was so much fun,” another commented on her way out of the Rosewood.

Any woman who’d like to join in the fun is invited to attend the next 100 Women Who Care meeting, either as a participant or as an observer, slated for January 18, 2016, at the Rosewood Hotel in San Miguel. Socializing starts at 3:30pm and registration at 4:30pm. The meeting begins promptly at 5pm and adjourns by 6pm. For more information, go to www.100womenwhocaresma.com or contact Kathy Devine at katalinasma@hotmail.com.

 

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