Vistete de Sueños – Sewing the path towards women empowerment in Venezuela

Over the past several years, the Venezuela180 team has been working on building our new brand – one that focuses on empowering Venezuelans through community building and sustainability. With this goal in mind, we have partnered with organizations that are working hard to build strong communities by using holistic approaches that combine pillars of society such as education, healthcare, and food safety. Earlier this year, we identified that our work had been missing a crucial element for any study of society: women’s empowerment. This inspired our search for our newest partner.

We recently partnered with Vistete de Sueños, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of low-income women who have endured adverse situations in Venezuela by teaching them employable skills in the fashion industry. The organization’s motto is to “empower to become independent.” To achieve this, participants are taught how to use their skills and creativity to sew the path towards the future of their dreams.

The first step towards a better future in this project is its focus on battling poverty by teaching participants sewing skills that allow them to enter the workforce after finishing the program. Since the start of the program in 2012, Vistete de Sueños has had 8 cohorts, benefitting approximately 330 women. Through this program, participants acquire a wide array of skills within the fashion industry, including pattern tracing, management of various types of industrial sewing machines, assembly and manufacture of different types of garments, and the use of textile materials. Upon completion of the program, participants have gone on to land great employment opportunities and some have even started their own small businesses.

However, the team at Vistete de Sueños identifies that an approach rooted in traditional economics is limited when it comes to the study of improving women’s quality of life. For this reason, the program also provides psychological support to help participants overcome the challenges they have encountered throughout life, working their way through a journey of healing wounds and rising above traumatic situations. The organization has partnered with Psychologists Without Borders to provide workshops and trainings that help participants build better relationships with themselves and reconnecting with their sense of purpose and self-worth to truly thrive out in the world after graduating from the program.

After extensive material and mental preparation to enter the labor market, Vistete de Sueños also provides participants with opportunities to build and/or expand their professional networks, connecting them with employers nationally and internationally. In doing so, the program provides a proactive approach to overcoming the challenges that women and underrepresented groups may encounter when navigating the labor market in search for employment opportunities.