MIRIAM operates a comprehensive care model that facilitates access to education for rural and indigenous teenagers and women and helps them to deal with traumas and emotional wounds caused by violence in their lives. It also strengthens their ability to resolve conflicts or situations that arise in their lives, to make relevant decisions and to have instruments at their disposal to accompany other women in combating violence.
With this comprehensive model, women achieve empowerment and improve their living conditions and those of their families. The women trained by MIRIAM carry out political lobbying at local level, to promote changes in the collective imagination and in the actions of the authorities to prevent and overcome gender based violence and racism.
Through research and social analysis, MIRIAM helps to underpin proposals and findings in public administration and to make recommendations for compliance.
The strategic model promotes a fulfilling life, which we understand from our experience as “the balance of body, mind and spirit, in connection with the network of life, the quality of relationships with ourselves and with others, from the Mayan beliefs, through the satisfaction of basic human needs”.
The model is represented by the “flower for the fulfilled life of women”, which means:
1. Formal education
2. Education for active citizenship
3. Collective action for a fulfilled life for women
4. Trauma management; each of the strategies has its own measures.
1. Popular education and constructivist pedagogy
3. Mayan Culture
4. Emotional healing
Harmony and balance
Life projects oriented towards the Nawales
= “The fulfilled life”
Ixoqib’ MIRIAM provides comprehensive support for Mayan, Xinka and Mestizo women, giving priority to female leaders or those with social projection in organizations, universities or communities, most of whom live in rural areas in the various departments of the country. Women with a vision as future professionals who are committed to the rights of women and indigenous women and the promotion of a fulfilled life free of violence and racism.
The following activities are being implemented, so that the women leaders become university graduates and gender trainers strengthening their empowerment and their social and political projection.
Access to the university: MIRIAM provides an average monthly financial support of USD 90.00 for the payment of tuition, fees and/or university fees, materials and books.
Education for active citizenship: As part of the efforts to promote a fulfilled life for women without violence and racism, an anual gender course is being organized in the following areas, among others: cultural identity, women’s citizenship, communication, Mayan beliefs, prevention of violence against women, national and international legislation on women’s rights, communication, basic human needs, racism and advocacy. The university of San Carlos is awarding a diploma for completing the workshops once a month for 11 months.
Consulting for final thesis: University students who are currently conducting research or are in the final stages of their studies receive financial support for their expenses and academic advice for research with a gender and/or indigenous perspective as part of their final thesis.
Collective action for women’s rights: The university students are engaged as gender trainers and moderate 4 training workshops to promote a fulfilled life, which are aimed at women and young members of organizations and communities. In addition, some female university students offer support in the MIRIAM area of reconstructuion of life projects as tutors, promoters or administrative support with at least 70 hours per year.
By 2019, 199 female university students have been sponsored, 111 of whom have graduated in various university careers. In the current year (2020) 49 female university students are being sponsored and 2 are conducting research.
The association Ixoqib’ MIRIAM supports young women who have survived violence, several of whom are mothers with limited economic resources, in rebuilding their life projects. The Life Project is the central result for the adolescent women to find a sense of existence that enables them to define goals and overcome them in order to break through the difficulties that arise during their lives. A particular focus is on caring for adolescent mothers together with their children using a cross-generational approach. Our geographical area of operation in this program component, is the departments of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and Alta Verapaz.
From 2010 to date, 206 young victims of violence have been supported, 110 of whom have completed secondary school in various professions.
The following measures are being implemented to support adolescent girls:
Access to school education :Often an act of violence interrupts the educational process, and it is therefore crucial to support adolescent girls in resuming their school education, as this is an essential part of preparing for working life. MIRIAM provides monthly financial assistance of $40.00 to $50.00 for primary and secondary school or vocational training courses during the ten months of the school year, enabling them to pay for books, transportation and a monthly fee at a private educational center if required by the conditions in which they live.
Academic support: Most adolescent girls have a weak basic academic education and sometimes find it difficult to complete the courses; the financial support is accompanied by a tutoring program. In the collective and personalized tutoring sessions, once a month, from 8:00 to 13:00, support is offered in the subjects that cause difficulties to the teenagers. The tutoring hours are given by female university students who are associated with the program and thus repay the support received, and by external professional volunteer teachers, especially in subjects such as mathematics and physics.
Gender courses: The goal of education for active citizenship is to make adolescent girls aware of their individual and collective rights as Mayan women and to encourage their active participation in youth and women’s groups. Its main function is to guide the female students in the elaboration of their life projects and to define their main goals and objectives and the way they want to achieve them. After this initial phase, the adolescent girls deepen their life projects according to different thematic priorities that define, among other things, how they want to live their relationships, marriages, family planning, political participation, personal and cultural identity, defense of their rights.
Artistic expression and political advocacy: As part of the education for active citizenship, artistic expression is provided so that adolescent girls can express their feelings, creativity and sensitivity through art. As part of this action, the choir MIRIAM in Guatemala and the artists’ group Wajxaqib’ Batz in Quetzaltenango were founded to perform at various commemorative events on the above-mentioned themes in defense of the individual and collective rights of children, youth and women. In this way, adolescent girls gain security and trust and lose their fear of public appearances.
New masculinity: The promotion of new masculinities among fathers, brothers and partners of association members is of fundamental importance in order to deconstruct traditional gender roles, promote egalitarian coexistence and shared responsibility.
Ixoqib’ MIRIAM accompanies women, adolescents, teenage mothers, girls and boys in their emotional process through its psychosocial approach, through guidelines and methods based on the Mayan beliefs, energy therapies and psychotherapy to heal trauma caused by gender-based violence and racism.
The following therapeutic intervention strategies have been established:
Orientation based on cosmic/nawalistic energies: A person specialized in ancient Mayan cosmopsychology (Ajq’ij in the K’iche Mayan language) conducts an accompanying process by identifying the energies or nawales, birth, procreation, destiny and auxiliaries to guide them in harmonizing their energies with the web of life.
Individual therapy: Comprehensive care from the Mayan beliefs is offered, following the energies of each participant and using therapeutic tools, with the aim of working on traumatic events in their life story and recognizing their emotions so that they feel comfortable with themselves and with the people they are related to.
Group therapy: Workshops lasting one or one and a half days are held with the aim of creating a space in which the girls and women feel safe and can share their experiences freely, trustingly and exclusively among women. We work on topics and exercises that enable them to support and understand each other, to help them deal with their traumas and to learn emotional self-management.
Collective care for girls and boys: This care is aimed at children in early childhood from 0 months to 6 years. During these workshops we work on strengthening the motor, linguistic, cognitive, social and assertive areas through sensory and psychomotor stimulation, emotional education, social interaction and play.
School for mothers and fathers: It is a priority of MIRIAM to provide the parents of its association members with spaces for reflection and training in order to sensitize them to a positive, non-violent upbringing, as well as to strengthen communication and uncover possible problems in the family.
Link to application forms
Link to the regulations for comprehensive support