It was a match made in West London – at the offices of The Media Trust, to be precise. We were brought together by the fundraising and communications needs of a small NGO and the desire of a small consultancy to use its skills and experience to help them. The matchmaker was Sam Gillett, Media Matching Manager at The Media Trust. The speedmatching event he organised was a free networking opportunity to help representatives from not-for-profit organisations meet face-to-face with media professionals looking to volunteer their time.
At first it appeared that Andrea from Earth Education Project didn’t need any help. It was clear that they knew what they were doing. Their method is clear and effective. They empower women in Nicaragua with job skill training and basic education programmes. They teach women to make recycled paper products that they sell through their jewellery brand Chureca Chic. And they know that money isn’t enough so their programme is informed by an understanding of the importance of empowering women with the life skills they need to succeed in the labour market and integrate into Nicaraguan society.
But after our first meeting it was clear that this was going to be a productive match. Working with Andrea and Lara from Earth Education Project was a joy. They were responsive to my ideas and added their own to make it a jointly owned project. I suggested that we invite their UK based supporters to be photographed wearing their favourite Chureca Chic jewellery. If we combined the photos with statements about why they love Chureca Chic then we’d have a powerful set of statements about the value of Earth Education Project’s work – by women for women. It was Andrea’s idea to share this in the run up to International Women’s Day. Another instance of the benefits of working collaboratively.
Earth Education Project’s workshop is based near the La Chureca community on the outskirts of Managua. The community is made up of about 900 families who make a living from the rubbish thrown out by the capital city’s inhabitants. They collect salvageable trash for their own use or to sell to individual manufacturers and businesses. Although since January 2013 a recycling plant operates in the community providing 200 jobs, many still scavenge from the remaining dump or find themselves unemployed.
Earth Education Project works with women because they can be relied on to invest 90 cents of every dollar they make back into the health, nutrition and education of their families. Investing in women creates a future of opportunity for their children and supports community development.
The Chureca Chic photo shoot was really enjoyable and we have to thank The Troubadour on Old Brompton Road for the venue, the EEP supporters who gave their time and enthusiasm so readily and to Lara who organised the whole event and Vanita who assisted with the photography.
Red Pencil is delighted to have been part of this collaboration. We work with not for profit organisations because we share the values that underpin the work of charities and people who work for social justice. It has been wonderful to be able to do this as a contribution to the international celebration of women’s role in the world. Have a look at the work and let us know what you think.
Chureca Chic Facebook
Earth Education Project shop
Media Trust media matching services