WE ARE IBU IN ACTION:
We funded the construction for a new workspace for 25 Awac Phuna artisans to be used as a center to store materials, hold meetings & workshops, host tourists & prospective customers, and a store.
The Ibu Foundation provided 5 training sessions in natural dying, quality control, and product development.
Awamaki was formed in early 2009 to support a cooperative of 10 women weavers from Patacancha, a rural Quechua community in the Andes of Peru. Awamaki’s founders, Kennedy Leavens, from the U.S., and Miguel Galdo, from Peru, had worked together at Awamaki’s predecessor organization with the weaving cooperative for two years. When the predecessor organization decided to close its doors, Miguel and Kennedy formed Awamaki to continue their work with the weavers. The organization grew rapidly to include programs in health and education, as well as other artisan cooperatives and a sustainable tourism program. In 2011, Awamaki spun its health program off into an independent sister organization, and made the strategic decision to focus on income improvement and market access through fair trade artisan cooperatives and sustainable tourism.
In 2019, Awamaki graduated a group of weavers from their training program as an independent business, and decided to begin to invest more resources in another partner group, Awac Phuna. In 2022, Ibu Foundation funded the construction of a weaving center for this group as well as trainings in natural dyes, product development and product quality control for 60 women artisans.
Awamaki partners with eight Andean women-led artisan cooperatives in rural regions of Peru to provide training and market access. Their partner cooperatives weave, knit, spin and sew and offer training in quality control, product development and technical skills improvement. Each of their products includes the name of the artisan who made it.
The artisan center will help Awamaki lay the foundation for similar artisan groups to begin their training programs and build their own craft businesses, working towards eventual graduation and financial success.