Volunteer opportunity posted by: Awamaki
Posted on: March 1, 2013
Awamaki is a Peruvian and a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to promote community development in Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru. Awamaki works to provide the skills, training, and access to market necessary for women and rural families to earn an income to lift themselves out of poverty. Our programs include fair trade women's crafts cooperatives, sustainable tourism and community education. For more information, see http://awamaki.org/about/.
Interning with Awamaki is a valuable experience for anyone interested in a career in international development or social enterprise. We rely on interns' fresh ideas and skillset to constantly improve and expand our programs, and in return, we give our interns a high level of autonomy and responsibility over their individual projects. Because of this, interns are required to commit to a minimum of 3 months.
General Requirements for Volunteering with Awamaki:
Awamaki is seeking a Women's Cooperatives Volunteer
Through the Women's Cooperatives Program, Awamaki aims to conserve and revitalize the Andean traditions of weaving, knitting and spinning by finding a market for hand-made textiles in an economy which is fast modernizing (and where the value of textiles is losing relevance). In doing so we are helping to empower indigenous women weavers and create the opportunity for them to achieve a higher degree of financial independence. With this vision, Awamaki sees rural, indigenous women as no longer marginalized and disadvantaged; rather they will be empowered to participate in the modern economy, recognizing the value of their Quechua heritage as a vehicle to do so.
We organize women's artisan cooperatives, provide skills-building workshops (in spinning, weaving, knitting and sewing) and provide access to the market through our Fair Trade Store in town, thereby allowing women to earn a reliable income. Through Awamaki Lab, the product development arm of the Women's Artisanal Cooperatives Program, we aim to bridge the gap between weavers and the international market, using fashion and design skills to appeal to an international consumer base. Ultimately we hope to phase out Awamki's presence as an intermediary in 10 years time by equipping Quechua women with the capacity to appraise the value of their textiles and connect directly to a consumer market.
Volunteers in Awamaki's Artisan Cooperatives program have the unique opportunity to participate in all aspects of developing and brining a product to market and work directly with the artisans producing the products. Interns are given a project to focus on for the duration of their stay with regard to their interests, individual skill set, and the current needs of the organization. Interns receive a timeline and are expected to meet deadlines and turn in a completed project while balancing day-to-day needs in the office and in artisan communities. Project examples include: Product design and development, technical design, production assistance, teaching of new skills eg. patternmaking, advanced knitting, pattern reading, creation of sales and marketing materials.
Awamaki produces product only for the Fall/Winter selling season, therefore final samples must be completed not later than December. The schedule is as follows:
Jan-Oct: Market research, product design & development, technical design, sample making
Feb-Aug: Production of current season products: Placing and receiving orders from artisan groups, quality control, one-on-one guidance with production patterns, packaging and shipping, inventory
April-Aug: National sales including reaching out and visiting stores in the Cusco region, management assistance, merchandising and PR for the local Awamaki Fair-Trade store, documentation of the design and production process.
Aug-Jan: Creation of sales materials including line sheets, product photos, lookbooks, PR, researching local and international sales venues, managing overseas trunk-show materials and inventory
Year-round: Assistance with on-going skills building workshops, sales & merchandising at the Awamaki Fair-Trade store, one-on-one guidance for members of the knitting cooperative
Women's Cooperatives Program Responsibilities and Potential Projects
Marketing and Communications
Requirements for working with the Awamaki Women's Cooperatives Program
The current Awamaki volunteer fee for 3-month and 6-month volunteers is a one-time payment made prior to arrival of $1,392. Because Awamaki is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States, most of this ($820) is considered a donation and is tax-deductible in the United States to the extent allowed by law.
As recognition of the value and importance of long-term volunteers, $700 is refunded upon completion of 6 months as an Awamaki volunteer.
The volunteer fee includes the following costs:
Feel free to check out our website www.awamaki.org or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/awamaki for more information about Awamaki and all of our programs. For any questions about volunteering, please email: email@example.com.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request our application form. Please also prepare a copy of your CV to submit as part of the application. Upon receiving your application form and CV we will contact you to arrange an informal Skype interview with the relevant Program Coordinator(s).