Assembling Our Toolbox

The Dissemination and Application of Knowledge in Vision Guatemala

By Nicola Rani Rita Roten 

It is in us, curious beings that we are, to discover ourselves in order to recognize and strengthen our potential and to search for further opportunities. Change doesn’t mean waiting until the world changes; we ourselves are the change and we ourselves undertake it! The NGO Vision Guatemala is dedicated to promoting this awareness in indigenous women, children, and young people from impoverished communities around Lake Atitlán. This is how we create agents of change: critical, creative, active collaborative beings.

In order to have a sustainable impact and evolve in the way we think, we need to work systematically, without limiting individual creativity. The work we do is to create and implement learning strategies that are tailored to each community’s needs. First, we have an empowerment program for female entrepreneurs, which aims to promote economic independence and integration with local markets. Our second program a comprehensive education program designed for the children of the female entrepreneurs. Finally, our third program unites the women and children participating in our other programs and teaches about holistic health.

In Vision Guatemala we break the paradigm of “giving and receiving.” We don’t refer to beneficiaries of our organization who receive help. We are all participants and collaborators because we are building a better future together.

Institutional strengthening has become a primary goal in our agenda. To be able to fulfill our objectives, we are investing in skill-building and empowerment in every member of the Vision Guatemala team. Entremundos is a perfect ally in this process with its wonderful ways of spreading knowledge through workshops that strengthen the capacities of local NGOs. This year we are participating in various workshops, among them “Creation of projects with a comprehensive sustainable focus,” “Social entrepreneurship,” and “Fundraising.” The empowerment of the collaborators is EntreMundos’ main objective, just as it is for Vision Guatemala. We have systematized our projects based on the principles of management for results, applying the knowledge we obtained in the interactive courses and adapting it to our own reality in a participative and inclusive manner.

This past month, the team at EntreMundos visited our installations in San Juan and San Marcos La Laguna. We were happy on this occasion to be able to authentically demonstrate that the objectives of EntreMundos are truly reflected in our organization. EntreMundos has inspired us to be better and has provided access to technical knowledge, practices, and national networks that permit us to serve our community sustainably and impactfully. We will continue to strengthen this alliance and we invite other NGOs to follow our example.

“I feel very proud of our team. Various collaborators have offered work in other institutions. For me this means that they recognize our effort and the empowerment of the participants. We aren’t jealous with our knowledge. The more we share, the more we are permitted to grow. The entrepreneurial spirit should be spread, and I hope that our collaborators can pass on this spark wherever they work in the future.” — (Nickie, Founder and Director of Vision Guatemala).