Onelia says, "Everything we've been doing here, it's not just for us personally but for our community."

People like Onelia. Onelia lives in Nuevo Mocupe, a rural hamlet in the Zaña Valley where jobs are scarce. For three years, she has participated in the craft workshops for women, financed by Heart-Links and run by Madre Oliva Association.

In the program Onelia finds support she can’t get elsewhere. “When it comes to people like us,” she says, “who don’t have a profession, who became single mothers at an early age, this government—I don’t know—they forget all about us.”

The women have sold their works at local fairs and in a neighbouring town, and they’ve held a fashion show. But the program offers more than training. “It’s not just about the skills we’re developing, like embroidery or knitting, although we’ve learned that, too,” Onelia says. “We talk about self-esteem, how we feel as women, as mothers, how to become active in our community.”