Giving Back: Mujeres 2000

At Oasis Collections, giving back to the community is an imporant part of our business model. We take great pride in supporting charitable organizations, especially those that are locally-based.

One of those that we support is Mujeres 2000, an NGO based in Buenos Aires comprised of young professionals and university students who have for over 10 years volunteered their time to supporting poverty-struck families in the districts of Tigre and San Fernando, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. They believe in promoting and realising the value of work and education with a strategy based on work-preparation training, the provision of tools for micro-enterprises along with housing and scholarships for higher education and job placements. In short, they support families in poverty and vulnerability that wish to improve their present situation whilst investing in their future.

This Thursday, 19 April, Oasis Collections will be hosting a special After Office at The Clubhouse, complete with live music and open bar, in which all proceeds will be donated to Mujeres 2000. You can email clubhouse@oasiscollections.com to purchase tickets.

To learn more about the wonderful ways Mujeres 2000 is helping women, please read our interview below with the organisation’s María Mérola, Executive Director, and Martina Amengual, Program Coordinator.

OASIS BLOG: What do you feel are the biggest issues facing women in Buenos Aires?

MUJERES 2000: Today, women have come a long way in the whole word, but this is especially notable in Argentina. In Buenos Aires and the Great Buenos Aires area, women are not only the majority of population, but they also often serve as heads of their households, are leaders in their jobs, and informal leaders in their communities. Women are increasingly being recognized as key channels towards positive change, and this is true in all social levels.

However, in this scenario, the huge proportion of women who live in poverty are facing important challenges. The lack of basic education, poor health conditions, absence of job opportunities, and problems such as crime and drug addiction affect women in a special way, in their roles as centre of the social structure. This is why Mujeres 2000’s volunteers chose, almost 12 years ago, to support women living in poor areas in order to help them channel positive changes in their families and communities. Results prove that we made the right choice!

OASIS BLOG: What has been the most touching moment, or a time when you’ve felt all your efforts paid off?

MUJERES 2000: Working in the neighborhoods, in close contact with our beneficiaries and their families, gives us a number of moments in which we feel 100% proud of our work and the results achieved. In my opinion, the best reward is seeing the improvements made by the entrepreneurs not only in growing their businesses, but also in investing in their households, in their children’s education and health conditions. There are countless examples of families whose lives have been changed thanks to the persistence and effort of the entrepreneurs who joined Mujeres 2000.

A few weeks ago, our first scholarship holder Vanesa Romero, was interviewed by the newspaper “La Nación” where she could tell about her experience at University. Vanesa is studying Economy and received her scholarship in 2009. Her academic performance is excellent and since last year she is working at the Ministry of Economy. It was an enormous satisfaction to see Vanesa’s effort praised by the national press!

OASIS BLOG: With the sort of support you provide to the needy on a personal level, have any of your supporters been able to form connections with the people their dollars are going towards?

MUJERES 2000: Mujeres 2000’s supporters are always invited to join us during fieldwork, in order to get in touch with the different beneficiaries of our programs. For those who want to build a mid-to-long term relation, we offer the possibility of sponsoring a group of 5 entrepreneurs, or one of the young students who receive a University scholarship. Both of these options allow the sponsor to receive bi-monthly reports on the evolution of the beneficiaries of his donation, and to build a stable relation with them.

OASIS BLOG: How can people get more involved with the organization, what is the best way to show support?

MUJERES 2000: At Mujeres 2000, we welcome the support of all kind of people who share our mission. There are two basic ways to collaborate: the first is to join as a volunteer of any of our programs or institutional activities, and the second is to donate funds, which will allow us to expand our programs and reach more beneficiaries. Both types of support are equally needed and appreciated!

OASIS BLOG: Are there any plans to expand the scope of the operation beyond the current reach?

MUJERES 2000: Yes! We are currently in the process of opening our fifth fieldwork office in the Tigre/San Fernando areas. This will allow us to serve an extra number of beneficiaries, which will add to the new incorporations we plan to make in our current offices. Only in 2012, 41 women entrepreneurs have taken their first loan to start a business, and 7 students have joined our Scholarships program.

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