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W OMEN S G ROUPS IN S OUTH C ENTRAL AND S OUTH R UPUNUNI

A brief report of observations and data collected from womens groups during the SCPDA Management Plan Dissemination workshops.

In almost every village in the South Central and South Rupununi, a womens group exists or has existed. This report briefly summarizes their past and present activities and what they desire or need to restart operations and function effectively.

Andrea Liew, VSO, Enterprise Development Advisor, South Central Peoples Development Association (SCPDA) 8/20/2012

8/20/2012

WOMENS GROUPS IN SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTH RUPUNUNI


A brief report of observations and data collected from womens groups during the SCPDA Management Plan Dissemination workshops.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction ................................................................................................................... 3 Methodology ................................................................................................................... 4 Limitations and Constraints ...................................................................................... 4 Summary of Data Collected From Questionnaires ...................................................... 5 Group & Member Status ............................................................................................ 5 Financial Status.......................................................................................................... 5 Activities Undertaken ................................................................................................ 6 Training ....................................................................................................................... 7 Notes From Group Discussions ..................................................................................... 8 Participation & Commitment ..................................................................................... 8 Markets ....................................................................................................................... 8 Skills and Training ..................................................................................................... 9 Support from Husbands/Partners .............................................................................. 9 Notes on the Recent Development of Womens Groups ............................................. 10 Shulinab Womens Group ......................................................................................... 10 Parikawarunawa Womens Group ........................................................................... 10 Aishalton Womens Group ........................................................................................ 10 Recommendations ........................................................................................................ 12 Pilot Groups .............................................................................................................. 12 Skills & Training ...................................................................................................... 12 Funding ..................................................................................................................... 13 Markets ..................................................................................................................... 14 Commitment & Participation ................................................................................... 14

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Local Support Systems ............................................................................................. 14 Closing Remarks .......................................................................................................... 16 Appendices ................................................................................................................... 17 Appendix 1 Womens Group Questionnaire .......................................................... 17 Appendix 2 Shulinab Womens Group Questionnaire .......................................... 19 Appendix 3 General Information about Womens Groups ................................... 21 Appendix 4 Past Activities of Womens Groups.................................................... 22 Appendix 5 Desired Activities of Womens Groups .............................................. 23 Appendix 6 Skills Needed/Wanted from Womens Groups .................................. 24 Appendix 7 Descriptions and Examples of Activities ........................................... 25

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INTRODUCTION
During the Management Plan Dissemination workshops, facilitated by SCPDA for the period of May 27, 2012 June 21, 2012, a survey was conducted among women and womens groups of South Central and South Rupununi in villages supported by SCPDAs programs. Women in 15 out of 17 villages in South Central and South Rupununi were involved in giving responses for data collection. Surveys from the womens groups in Sawariwau and Parabara have not yet been received and are therefore excluded from this report. South Central Rupununi villages: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Baitoon Katoonarib Katuur Parikawarunawa Potarinau Rupunau Sand Creek Sawariwau Shiriri Shulinab South Rupununi villages: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Achawib Aishalton Awarewanawa Karaudarnawa Maruranawa Shea Parabara

The purpose of this survey was to compile information on the status and activities of womens groups and their need for support both at a local level and from external organizations. Data provided by the survey will help shape SCPDAs strategic plan for the next 10 years.

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METHODOLOGY
A survey consisting of 8 questions (Appendix 1) were given to female facilitators to complete during their visits to communities. An example of Shulinabs Womens Groups answers (Appendix 2) was also given to assist them in understanding what kind of data was required. Female facilitators were used to survey women/womens groups in each community to make survey participants feel comfortable in answering questions. We felt that encouraging a female-to-female interaction would improve the quantity and quality of answers. The two female facilitators, Andrea Saba of Shiriri village and Antonia Barjoan of Aishalton village, conducted the survey after the conclusion of each Management Plan Dissemination workshop. Women broke off into a separate group to take part in the questionnaire. Andrea Liew collected the completed questionnaires from the facilitators in order to record and summarize responses electronically. General observations and opinions of Andrea Saba, Antonia Barjoan, and Andrea Liew regarding the survey process were also recorded.

Limitations and Constraints


It is likely that not all opinions of village women and members of womens groups were captured for the following reasons: There was no prior discussion between the questionnaire creator, Andrea Liew, and the facilitators before the Management Plan Dissemination workshop commenced. Since Andrea was unable to attend most of the workshop sessions in South Central, questions or types of answers expected of participants may have been misinterpreted by facilitators and/or participants. The questionnaire creator, Andrea Liew, was not able to supervise and help both female facilitators at all times due to scheduling conflicts and transportation requirements to move from village to village; there were always two teams in two different villages at the same time. The number of survey participants depended on who was able to attend the Management Plan Dissemination workshop (which was the main focus for facilitators); this varied each day due to villagers other commitments (e.g. village work/self-help). Due to the timing of the survey, which was held after the conclusion of the Management Plan Dissemination workshop, potential participants may have left immediately after the workshop due to the late timing or other commitments (e.g. family obligations). The workshops were held during the time of school examinations, so many young females were unable to attend the workshop and questionnaire sessions. Some womens groups were not represented. For example, Sand Creek used to have 3 womens groups, however only 1 was represented when the survey was conducted.

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SUMMARY OF DATA COLLECTED FROM QUESTIONNAIRES


Out of the 15 villages surveyed, information for 15 womens groups was available. In the past, Sand Creek had 3 womens groups, but only 1 was represented at discussions; therefore, the other 2 womens groups are excluded from data collection Maruranawa has 2 womens groups and they are both included. All other villages surveyed had 1 womens group per community. Shiriri is the only village that has never had a functioning womens group in the past and still does not have one.

Group & Member Status


Please refer to Appendix 3 for data. Out of the 15 womens groups, only 3 are considered active. Active, pertaining to groups and for the purposes of this report, describes groups that meet and/or engage in activities on a regular basis, regardless of whether the activities are income-generating or not. The 3 active womens groups are based in Aishalton, Maruranawa, and Shulinab. Maruranawa is a small church-based womens group whereas the womens groups surveyed in all other communities are not affiliated with a religious institution. Out of the active womens groups, there are a total of 56 general members, of which 37 (or 66.1%) are active. Active, pertaining to individual group members, describes persons who attend womens groups meetings and/or participates in activities on a regular basis. All other members belong to the group, but only attend meetings and/or participate in activities on an occasional basis. In Appendix 3, active members of inactive groups represent the number of women who were active before the group dissolved. Shulinabs womens group has the most general members and active members; 35 and 20, respectively. Aishalton has 16 members, 12 being active and Maruranawas group has 5 members, all of which are active.

Financial Status
Please refer to Appendix 3 for data. The 3 active groups in Aishalton, Maruranawa, and Shulinab feel they are in a stable financial position at the moment due to income-generating activities. This being said, Aishalton and Shulinab still feel they can benefit from more funds and have indicated that they would like to submit proposals to acquire grants. The inactive womens groups have indicated that they would like to start up again, but require funds to do so. According to the womens groups, funds would be used to do the following: Purchase and/or fix equipment and tools (e.g. sewing machines) Purchase materials (e.g. cloth for sewing, embroidery thread) Build a new womens group centre in the village

8/20/2012 Build a water irrigation system for gardens Bring in knowledgeable persons to train women in various skills (e.g. fruit preservation)

Activities Undertaken
Please refer to Appendices 4 & 5 for data. Some womens groups, when they were active, were involved in only one activity (e.g. sewing only), while others were engaged in multiple activities. Their past activities are listed below. The number of womens groups that engaged in each activity follows in brackets. Please refer to Appendix 4. Sewing (13) Wine-making (1) Catering and/or snacks (4) Crafts (3) Cotton spinning (1) Embroidery (2) Painting (3) Tye-dye (1) Making baby slings (1)

After surveying womens groups in the communities, some revealed that they want to do more activities than they have in the past. Please refer to Appendix 5. Desired activities of groups (some of which are past activities) include: Sewing (11) Wine-making (1) Catering and/or snacks (6) Crafts (6) Cotton spinning (4) Embroidery (5) Painting (1) Tye-dye (1) Weaving (4) Knitting (3) Crochet (4) Beads (2) Tibisiri (4) Gardening and/or farming (5) Pottery (1) Poultry and pig rearing (1)

Note that Beads and Tibisiri can be considered as Crafts, but has been broken out to outline specific crafts mentioned by womens groups. Descriptions and examples of activities can be found in Appendix 7. Currently, the Isharatoon Womens Association in Aishalton is involved in catering and snacks. They make and serve meals for many events and meetings (e.g. public village meetings) while also selling food, juice, and snacks at their womens centre. Food/snacks include chicken foot, methai, polourie, fudge, and dhal puri. They make fresh juice every day; flavours include mango, cherry, and it. The Shulinab Womens Group is presently sewing hammock nets, sewing bags, embroidering designs and crocheting trimmings on cloths, making bands/bracelets with embroidery thread and beads, and making wine, jam, jelly, and snacks. The group focuses on knowledge-exchange and encourages all group members to teach one another new skills. For example, if one woman specializes in crocheting, she will teach all interested women how to crochet. The Shulinab Womens Group meets every Wednesday.

8/20/2012 The church-based womens group in Maruranawa focuses on sewing exclusively. They buy materials from town and ship it to the village to make clothing and uniforms for students. They have not indicated interest in expanding their skill-set as of yet.

Training
Womens groups in all villages have indicated that they require training in several skills. The skills mentioned by groups include: Financial management includes bookkeeping and budgeting Proposal/grant writing Leadership Sewing

Please see Appendix 6 for reference. Sewing was mentioned as a desirable skill because many of the womens groups already have some knowledge of sewing and measuring. They want to be trained to further enhance their sewing and measurement skills as well as improve the variety and quality of their products. It should be noted that many sewing machines belonging to womens groups are broken and there arent many (if any) local persons who can fix them. It may be beneficial to train local persons to fix sewing machines in addition to teaching them sewing skills. Administrative skills are also important to womens groups. Bookkeeping was mentioned as a desirable skill by 10 groups, budgeting was mentioned by 3 groups, and proposal/grant writing by 5 groups. Financial management, in a general sense, was mentioned by 9 groups in discussions. For the purposes of this report, bookkeeping and budgeting have been categorized under financial management. Financial management was expressed as one of the most important skills for groups. Losing track of money (e.g. loans) and over-spending were listed as major causes for the collapse of financial stability (and sometimes the operations and existence) of womens groups. Training in bookkeeping and budgeting would help groups keep good financial records and allocate money appropriately for present and future uses. Proposal/grant writing, though only mentioned by 5 groups, should also be trained to all womens groups. Many of the womens groups that are not active have stated that they require funding to restart. Training in proposal writing would allow the groups to apply for grants and potential funding. Leadership skills should also be taught to womens groups, especially those in executive positions. Topics such as planning, coaching, effective communication, public speaking, conflict resolution, and time management, among others, should be addressed.

NOTES FROM GROUP DISCUSSIONS


The data collected from questionnaires do not capture all the comments offered and non-verbal cues displayed by the women interviewed. The facilitators have documented some observations below and recorded comments not captured by survey questions.

Participation & Commitment


In most villages, participation in womens groups is an issue. Groups are in need of more interested persons and active members people who will be enthusiastic about the activities and goals of the womens groups. When it comes to meetings and discussions, people in elected positions (e.g. Chairwomen) tend to do most of the talking for their groups while other members contribute on an infrequent basis. Some groups have also experienced that some of their executive members (e.g. Treasurers, Secretaries) are not actively participating in activities and/or meetings. They accept their positions and do not turn up to attend meetings and take care of their responsibilities. This lack of participation and commitment is an issue for womens groups who are trying to run effectively. Sand Creek has three womens groups, but only one was represented at the time of the questionnaire. One of the Sand Creek womens groups has a well-known history of strong activity, but is currently not functioning. The Sand Creek womens group representatives participated in discussions a lot more in comparison to groups in other villages. There is also a lack of youth participation in most villages, an exception being Parikawarunawa where young women were passionate and participating actively in answering questions.

Markets
Lack of markets is a major issue for womens groups. Sometimes, local markets are not enough; women are discouraged from producing due to a lack of sales. Note that this applies for some, not all, products; for example, the sales of snacks and drinks in villages with events, fundraisers, and a higher population can be successful. In Rupunau, the womens group attempted to carry their baby slings to Lethem, but there was no market for them. One woman stated that the people in Lethem do not know how to use them and they use alternative means to carry their children. This may indicate that baby slings can only easily be sold locally. Another thing to consider is the import of lower-priced goods, specifically Chinese manufactured products. There is a big quantity of such goods in Georgetown and Lethem; products include, but are not limited to, household items, automobile parts, furniture, and clothing. It is difficult to compete with the prices of Chinese manufactured goods, so womens groups may find that they are unable to sell items such as clothing at a profit. As previously mentioned, sales of food and drinks can be successful. In Aishalton, there is a market for snacks, meals, and fresh juices. The womens group earns income through the sales of these as well as catering. The Shulinab Womens Group has also earned income by selling snacks and drinks.

8/20/2012 In addition, they have made money from the sale of jams, embroidered cloths, and wines. These two villages have enough demand in their local markets to support their activities and are in a good position in terms of local market demand.

Skills and Training


Some skills, e.g. sewing, can be taught to womens groups by local villagers who have the knowledge. In Maruranawa, the women have identified a man who is skilled in measuring, tailoring, and sewing. They have expressed an interest in having him train group members. Many individual group members already have skills such as crocheting, knitting, embroidery work, wine making, and fruit preservation, to name a few. If womens groups followed the Shulinab Womens Group method of knowledge-exchange, members would be able to teach each other to develop skills without bringing in outsiders. Women mentioned that training in administrative, proposal writing, financial management, leadership, and other business skills (e.g. marketing, pricing, etc.) can be done via non-governmental organizations and external consultants. Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), for example, brings in experienced and knowledgeable persons who specialize in topics such as financial management, fundraising, proposal writing, and marketing. Conservation International (CI) also has the resources to provide training for communities by bringing in consultants if necessary.

Support from Husbands/Partners


The support level of husbands was commented on in several discussions. Some women felt that the level of support from their husbands was minimal. A few also expressed that their husbands were not supportive at all; this has prevented them from attending group meetings and participating in activities. According to some women, husbands feel that their wives should stay at home with the children at all times. Even if children were welcome at womens group meetings and activities, women felt like they could not attend due to their husbands wishes. In addition, husbands felt that when women had to go out of the house, it should be to do things for the family e.g. make purchases, tend the family farm, etc. Jealous was one word that some women used to describe how their husbands felt about the womens group. The group was seen as a hindrance to the family life as husbands feared their wives would neglect household duties. Another reason why husbands did not approve of their wives being involved with womens groups is due to the lack of actual income generation. The men felt that their wives were sharing knowledge and doing work for very little, if any, pay. It is important to note that there are some women who expressed how grateful they are of their husbands support and encouragement. One male in Aishalton, outside of questionnaire discussions, even expressed how he was glad his wife had the opportunity to learn new things and earn for their family.

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NOTES ON THE RECENT DEVELOPMENT OF WOMENS GROUPS


Shulinab Womens Group
In June 2012, the Shulinab Womens Group met to hold elections in order to re-start the group. It had been inactive for months prior to elections. Meetings were held to determine which activities women wanted to partake in. There are now 5 groups which women may be a part of (they can participate in as many groups as they like): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Snacks & catering Sewing & crocheting (e.g. nets & uniforms, kitchen towels, pillows, etc.) Wine making & gardening Preservation of fruits (e.g. jam) Crafts (e.g. beads, cotton, tibisiri)

On August 5, 2012, the Shulinab Womens Group held a fundraiser where they sold all products theyve made to date. These include wine, jam, jelly, bands/bracelets, snacks, and embroidered kitchen cloths. They raised a total of GYD $87,000 and are using the funds to purchase more supplies for their activities. The Womens Centre in Shulinab village is currently being rented out as accommodation for a Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) volunteer working with the South Central Peoples Development Association (SCPDA). For rent, VSO pays GYD $35,000 a month to the Shulinab Womens Group. This steady income will continue until February 2013.

Parikawarunawa Womens Group


The Parikawarunawa Womens Group submitted a proposal in 2012, via Behi Barzegar of Conservation International, for a new project which aims to revive the sewing activities the group used successfully in the past as a source of income generation. The project also aims to ensure its sustainability by providing simple repairs and maintenance skills as well as a means to access spare parts and further technical input.

In addition, the project targets the upgrade of hygienic standards in food premises currently used by the women to prepare snacks for school children. The kitchen will be upgraded and technical assistance and start-up funding will be provided to re-start and maintain a community kitchen garden. The proposal has been informally approved and funds are pending.

Aishalton Womens Group


The Isharatoon Womens Association (IWA) in Aishalton is currently involved in catering and making/selling snacks and fresh juice. Their Womens Centre, located at the centre of the village and

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8/20/2012 conveniently near the meeting place and sports field, is open from Monday to Saturday. They have meals available at lunch and snacks are available all day. In the past couple of months, members of the womens group have been taught how to make bands/bracelets out of embroidery thread. They are currently experimenting with different designs and have expressed interest in learning more patterns. The group would like to expand their activities to include raising poultry and pigs. In terms of training, the treasurer of IWA has undergone one-on-one bookkeeping training which involved the set-up of IWAs sales and expense book, learning how to keep track of weekly and monthly sales/expenditures, and learning how to create monthly reports.

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RECOMMENDATIONS
The following recommendations are suggested in a general sense, with no specific time frame in mind. Time frame, budget, and logistics will be addressed in SCPDAs Strategic Plan which is currently being reviewed.

Pilot Groups
The South Central Peoples Development Association (SCPDA) is dedicated to building capacities of communities and the empowerment of women, among others. SCPDA serves 17 communities in the South Central and South Rupununi, but only 3 of the womens groups surveyed are active. It is recommended that SCPDA work with the existing active womens groups in Figure 1. Starting or re-starting operations of groups would be more difficult than building on already existing and functioning ones, so only one inactive womens group appears in Figure 1. SCPDA can treat these womens groups as pilot projects. In addition, SCPDA has offices in Shulinab and Aishalton, which makes the womens groups in these villages very accessible. The church-based womens group in Maruranawa is small and self-sustaining, so it may not require much help from SCPDA, but there is a non-active village womens group in the same village. SCPDA can use this group as a pilot for the re-starting of inactive womens groups in other villages. Working in Maruranawa will allow capacity building for both womens groups in the village. It is important to note that the groups in Figure 1 are pilot groups. Lessons learned from working with/for the pilot groups can be applied to future projects targeting womens groups in other villages. Figure 1: Recommended groups that SCPDA should work with Village Womens Group Active/Non-Active Aishalton Isharatoon Womens Association Active Maruranawa Roman Catholic Womens Group Active Maruranawa Maruranawa Womens Group* Non-Active Shulinab Shulinab Womens Group Active *The Maruranawa Womens Group has no funds to work with at the moment. Work with them will have to be held off until enough funds are acquired to re-start the activities of the group. Recommendations going forward will apply to the womens groups listed in Figure 1.

Skills & Training


SCPDA can help provide training to womens groups by planning, facilitating, and funding training sessions where possible. The womens groups in Figure 1 have stated that they would benefit from additional funding. Keeping this in mind, it is recommended that members of womens groups go through some training for proposal writing. Womens groups can benefit from grants and they should be able to write

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8/20/2012 proposals by and for themselves. SCPDA currently has a Fundraising and Public Engagement Advisor (a VSO volunteer) who has experience in proposal writing and can help with this training. It is important to note that the villages of Aishalton and Maruranawa have access to the internet and can actively search and apply for grants online. Shulinab is close to Lethem which also enables them to access the internet from time to time and submit proposals. Thus the proposal writing skill is essential for all groups. Another important skill is financial management. Once womens groups have successfully acquired funds for their groups, it is important, especially for Treasurers and Assistant Secretary Treasurers, to be financially responsible. Grantors, banks, and other funders, often require statements to ensure that their grant money is being used appropriately and responsibly. Training for bookkeeping and budgeting will be beneficial for all women, even if they are not members of the executive team. SCPDA currently has an Enterprise Development Advisor (another VSO volunteer) who can help with financial management topics. Skills can be taught via a work-shop, in small groups, or via one-on-one training depending on the skill. For example, it may be beneficial to conduct training in small groups for bookkeeping (e.g. for the executive team) or one-on-one for Treasurers, but it may make more sense to teach budgeting in a larger workshop as individuals can apply those skills to their household/personal lives. This report previously mentions leadership and sewing as desirable skills according to womens groups. These are also essential skills; however, leadership skills are made of many components and can be addressed (and targeted towards executive team members) after training in proposal writing and financial management has occurred. Proposal writing and financial management training would benefit a greater number of people and should be priority. Sewing was listed by Maruranawa and Shulinab as a skill to be trained in. It would be valuable to wait until the Parikawarunawa Womens Group has completed their sewing project before starting sewing training for other villages. Lessons learned and notes from the Parikawarunawa Womens Group sewing project can be used to structure sewing training for other womens groups. It may also be possible to use local Parikawarunawa women as trainers for other villages. This would save on consulting fees and encourage knowledge sharing between women in different villages. Knowledge exchange between group members and between villages should be encouraged. Skills such as crocheting, bead-jewelry creation, and jam-making can be shared by individual members to the rest of their group or from one womens group to another. This will help bring people with similar interests together and can strengthen bonds between women.

Funding
Initial funding for womens groups and projects can be acquired through grants. SCPDA can apply for funds on behalf of the womens groups and/or can assist womens groups with applying on their own. Training in proposal writing will enable womens groups to apply for grants aimed specifically for and at women and womens groups. According to the 3 active groups, they would use funds to purchase materials/ingredients, fix equipment (e.g. sewing machines), and bring in knowledgeable people for training. Grants are likely 13

8/20/2012 required to fund high-cost items like equipment. Once womens groups have some money and feel they are in a stable financial position, they will be able to use their savings to drive their activities. Womens groups in Shulinab and Aishalton, for example, are generating incomes and are already using their profits to purchase materials. The goal is to make the income-generating activities of womens groups sustainable so that they do not have to rely on external organizations, grant money, or loans, to function on a continuous basis.

Markets
Products such as jams, wine, meals, snacks, and drinks are usually sold in local markets due to their perishable nature. Womens groups can sell food and refreshments at local events (e.g. sports games) and festivals (e.g. Heritage month). Vegetables from kitchen gardens, once established, can also be sold to local villagers. Items such as kitchen cloths, bands/bracelets, and other crafted products can be sold locally as well. Due to the accessibility and ease of selling to local communities, local markets should be focused on. It is costly to transport products to bigger markets (e.g. Lethem or Georgetown) and there is no guarantee that the products will sell in such markets. Stores like to see products before they decide to stock and sell them. It may not be worth it to transport products out of villages only to have them come back if stores are unwilling to sell them. In addition, local market demand is easier to monitor and cater to.

Commitment & Participation


All members should be encouraged to participate in meetings and activities. Leaders should give confidence to their group members and actively listen to the opinions and suggestions of everyone. A supportive group will make members feel comfortable with speaking up. Once womens group members have had training in leadership, the executive body should have more knowledge in motivating their members. Commitment by executive group members should be high. Prior to elections, it should be made clear that executive members are expected to attend all meetings and participate in activities the majority of the time. It is important that executive members have a high commitment and high participation level; as leaders of their group, they should lead by example. The success of the group depends on the dedication and enthusiasm of its members, especially those on the executive team.

Local Support Systems


Village Councils should support their womens groups. They can do this by making announcements for/about the group at public meetings and/or hiring the womens groups to cater their meetings and functions. With support from village councils, community members may be more likely to support womens groups as well. 14

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The support from Village Councils (whose councilors are predominantly male) will hopefully trickle down to those husbands whose wives would like to participate in womens groups. With their husbands support, women may feel more inclined to join in on activities and feel less guilty about taking time out of their days do so. Supportive husbands will give confidence to women and increase their faith in their own skills and abilities. Without supportive husbands, it will be difficult for women to partake in womens group activities if family conflict is to be avoided. Examples of supportive husbands can be seen by looking to the current chairwomen of the womens groups in Aishalton and Shulinab. These women have very supportive husbands who understand the importance of and encourage the development of women.

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CLOSING REMARKS
In preparing SCPDAs Strategic Plan for the next 10 years, women and womens groups were identified as target groups to serve and work with. Using questionnaires and group discussions, the women of South Central and South Rupununi gave some great feedback about past and present successes and challenges. Their suggestions are to be taken into account when drafting SCPDAs Strategic Plan. The collective goal for projects pertaining to womens group is to help them in the development of sustainable income-generating activities and to build their capacity to manage their enterprises without the help of external persons and organizations (e.g. consultants, NGO funding). The data presented in this report should be used as a guideline when conceptualizing projects for womens groups in the South Central and South Rupununi. More in-depth consultations are required for individual village projects, but this paper will provide a general idea of what is happening with womens groups in the South Central and South Rupununi communities.

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APPENDICES
Appendix 1 Womens Group Questionnaire
________(Village)________ Womens Group When speaking with women or womens groups, you can obtain information through an informal group discussion. This can take place before the Management Plan Dissemination presentation or afterwards. It shouldnt take more than an hour. The following questions are important for this research: 1. Is the womens group functioning and active?

2. When is the last time the womens group held elections?

3. Who are the members of the executive team? (Chairwoman, Vice, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary Treasurer, etc.) Chairwoman: Vice-Chair: Secretary: Treasurer: Assistant Secretary Treasurer: Board Members: Other:

4. How many general members/participants are there in the womens group? How many are active?

5. What are the past and current activities of the womens group? For example: catering, sewing, crafts, jewelry, etc.

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a. Which of the above activities of the womens group have been successful and which have failed?

b. Are the successful activities still ongoing? If not, why?

6. What are the activities that women want to be involved with in the future (that are not currently being done)?

7. Does the group feel they are in a stable financial situation? (You may have to ask the Treasurer if members or the executive body are unsure)

a. If the group does not feel they are in a stable financial situation, why do they think that is and what can be done to resolve this? For example, more knowledge in applying for grants, more knowledge in bookkeeping, etc.

b. If the group feels they are in a stable financial situation, what do they think has contributed to this? For example, is it because the Treasurer is knowledgeable in bookkeeping or maybe there are a lot of funds available to them?

8. Are there any other general concerns/comments the Womens Group has regarding their existence and operation?

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Appendix 2 Shulinab Womens Group Questionnaire


Shulinab Womens Group When speaking with women or womens groups, you can obtain information through an informal group discussion. This can take place before the Management Plan Dissemination presentation or afterwards. It shouldnt take more than an hour. The following questions are important for this research: 1. Is the womens group functioning and active? Yes 2. When is the last time the womens group held elections? May 6, 2012 3. Who are the members of the executive team? (Chairwoman, Vice, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary Treasurer, etc.) Chairwoman: Faye Fredericks Vice-Chair: Karen Vincent Secretary: Leonicia Laurindo Treasurer: Gracelyn Williams Assistant Secretary Treasurer: Calvin Josie Board Members: Christina Clement, Theresa Lewis Other: N/A

4. How many general members/participants are there in the womens group? How many are active? 35; 20 active

5. What are the past and current activities of the womens group? For example: catering, sewing, crafts, jewelry, etc.

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8/20/2012 Sewing, crafts (jewelry), wine making, hammock netting, snacks & refreshments a. Which of the above activities of the womens group have been successful and which have failed? Successful: sewing hammock nets, wine making, snacks & refreshments Unsuccessful: sewing clothes (could not compete with ready-made clothes sold at shops at a cheaper cost), crafts (no quality control) b. Are the successful activities still ongoing? If not, why not? Yes, they are starting up again.

6. What are the activities that women want to be involved with in the future (that are not currently being done)? weaving traditional cotton hammocks

7. Does the group feel they are in a stable financial situation? (You may have to ask the Treasurer if members or the executive body are unsure) a. If the group does not feel they are in a stable financial situation, why do they think that is and what can be done to resolve this? For example, more knowledge in applying for grants, more knowledge in bookkeeping, etc.

b. If the group feels they are in a stable financial situation, what do they think has contributed to this? For example, is it because the Treasurer is knowledgeable in bookkeeping or maybe there are a lot of funds available to them? - monthly income from VSO is steady - there is a financial system set in place with rules and guidelines (e.g no more loans); more accountability - money is to be used to generate more income instead of remaining idle

8. Are there any other general concerns/comments the Womens Group has regarding their existence and operation? N/A

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Appendix 3 General Information about Womens Groups

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Appendix 4 Past Activities of Womens Groups

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Appendix 5 Desired Activities of Womens Groups

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Appendix 6 Skills Needed/Wanted from Womens Groups

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Appendix 7 Descriptions and Examples of Activities


Activity Beads Catering and/or snacks Cotton spinning Crafts Crochet Embroidery Gardening and/or Farming Hand-painting Kitting Pottery Poultry and Pig Rearing Sewing Tibisiri Tye-dye Weaving Wine-making Descriptions and/or Examples using beads to make bands/bracelets or earrings; decorating clothing pieces cooking for meetings and functions or providing snacks (e.g. methai, chicken foot) process (or spin) prepared cotton roving into workable yarn or thread band/bracelet making (e.g. with embroidery thread, cotton); may include beads or tibisiri crocheting using cotton, embroidery thread, and/or yarn into clothing, bags, hats, or decorating cloth pieces stitching design patterns onto cloths establishing vegetable gardens or farms collectively maintained by group members painting pictures/portraits of landscape and scenery knitting using cotton and/or yarn into clothing, bags, hats creating vassals, cups, pots, etc. out of clay chickens and pigs to supply catering operations or to sell hammock nets, uniforms, clothing, bags weaving tibisiri into bands/bracelets, necklaces, headbands, baskets dying patterns on t-shirts weaving cotton into traditional Wapishana hammocks or traditional clothing, or weaving baskets out of leaves using locally available fruits (e.g. jamun, sorrel, banana, pineapple)

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