Woman of the Sacred Valley

Woman of the Sacred Valley – (Ollantaytambo, Peru).

Written by Monique Henry

I want to start by telling you how beautiful I found the Traveling Postcards workshop to be. Not just for the women involved but for myself. It is easy to feel like you are the only one dealing with hard times on this earth. I found the experience to be very humbling and it reminded me of how special I feel to be a woman and how strong we actually are.

 

Every Thursday My Small Help holds a workshop with the mothers of some of the children we work with as well as with some other women from the communities surrounding Ollantaytambo.

 

The week before the workshop we described the process to the group and asked them to reflect upon the issues that matter most to them as woman and as mothers. We also asked them to search for things around their homes that would inspire them or that they would like to add to their postcards. Their faces stared blankly back and to be honest I was not sure how the workshop would turn out. The following week women arrived with buttons, flowers, beads and all kinds of beautiful things they found around their homes. It was very inspiring to me to watch them open up during the workshop and to express themselves freely and artistically without pressure. Many of the women have never had the opportunity to experience artistic freedom. It wasn’t long until the workshop was a buzz of laughter and stories. The power of the woman creator and artist began to flow.

I was deeply touched at how we all opened our hearts and shared our stories. The simple act of having a platform to express ourselves artistically and verbally was enough to get the ball rolling. What an amazing experience we all had. We had so many laughs that day.

 

The women were extremely excited about receiving postcards from other women elsewhere in the world. A few weeks later postcards arrived for the from Armenia!

 

Monique Henry

The women were very excited their voices had gone out into the world and they had heard the voices of other women from another continent. They read over their cards multiple times and said they felt accompanied, encouraged and supported! Ana Chavez Bargas says, ‘I learnt to face life despite the difficulties to go forward’. The project inspired us to express ourselves and share our own stories and reminded us all that we have a voice.

This experience eloquently sums up what it means to be a woman and I am proud to be a woman who is part of the Travelling Postcards family!

 

*MySmallHelp is a not for profit organisation who believe  that caring for the poorest people in the world is the joint responsibility of humankind with a mission to help those living in poverty, or with a disability, access a brighter future primarily through providing access to education and skills training. www.mysmallhelp.org

 

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