With WE support, Via has formed solidarity groups for women experiencing poverty, immigration challenges, deportation from the US, trafficking, and other traumas. The women are supported holistically in their well-being and empowerment and provided resources, training, microloans, and coaching for their small business endeavors as paths to financial independence and security. Via has established 3 main solidarity groups – ESTIMA, SantaFe, and Ve’e Tu’un Xavi. WE supports the women taking part in all groups.
Meet Ana Marcela, ESTIMA Group Participant:
WE funding supports empowered women like Ana Marcela, who had been depressed and recovering from trauma in her past. Read her letter below:
Ana Marcela, 16 March 2023
I am Ana Marcela and, among many fears, I did not know that I suffered from depression, very hurt by situations in my past life but know that I am very happy and I would not change those things because I have made enormous changes in my life for the better and those fears have transformed into happiness and an improved person and I thank God because my life has changed radically for the better. I now work and am my own boss and little by little I see my small business growing and day by day I am trying to change and be a better person because you have not just helped me but my whole family, thank you for transforming my life and helping me grow, not just monetarily but as a person, my fears have left, I only want to achieve my goals and be a better person. Thank you and may God bless you.
Meet Marcela, Via Migrante Colonia Santa Fe Group Participant:
WE funding supports empowered women like Marcela, whose community-level support and group process has played a vital role in fostering her self-esteem and self-reliance, empowering her towards a thriving future.
Ana Marcela’s inspiring journey unfolds as the sole supporter of her family, with both her mother and daughter facing disabilities. Through a life-changing Solidarity Group formed by Via program and funded by WE, she discovered the necessary tools to believe in herself, boosting her self-esteem and igniting a newfound passion for sales. From food and clothing to a small in-home store, Ana Marcela’s entrepreneurial spirit flourished, transforming her from an isolated and apathetic individual into an active participant seizing opportunities for her future. Her growth is evident as her group changed its name from “First Ones” to “The Invincibles,” a testament to their strength and determination.
The Via Migrante Colonia Santa Fe group originated with the Madres Deportadas (Deported Mothers) group, but soon expanded as more women from the community expressed interest. Despite facing challenges during the pandemic, their dedication remained steadfast. Two nutrition/health programs were successfully provided, with a graduation scheduled for December. Although the group slightly diminished in size due to some women returning to work, all ten members continue to stay engaged. The community-level support and group process have played a vital role in fostering self-esteem and self-reliance among the participants, leading them towards thriving futures.
Meeting weekly, the group’s confidence continues to grow. Initially gathering at the church, their unity and trust in each other led them to rotate the meetings in their homes, symbolizing their strong bond. Graduating in December will not mark the end of their journey; they are determined to welcome new participants in January. Moreover, two group members aspire to become Promotoras, furthering their impact as outreach workers. Despite starting during difficult times, their resilience and unity shine brightly, exemplifying the power of community and collective effort.
About Via International:
Families in Tijuana continued to face unexpected challenges and changes in the aftermath of COVID-19. The trauma experienced during the pandemic has had ripple effects for mothers and children, as well as for single women, who experienced isolation and struggled to make their way with or without children in their care. With WE support, Via has formed solidarity groups for women experiencing poverty, immigration challenges, deportation from the US, trafficking, and other traumas. The women are supported holistically in their well-being and empowerment and provided resources, training, microloans, and coaching for their small business endeavors as paths to financial independence and security.