Manos de Mujer
Angel Boligan, «El Universal»
“Manos de Mujer” é o nome de uma organização não-governamental colombiana que opera desde 2001 em Natagaima. Pelos mais variados motivos, cerca de 900 mulheres da comunidade nativa Pijao e outras de comunidades rurais, dedicam-se à agricultura biológica. Têm dois objectivos principais: recuperar o ecossistema e, através dele, readquirir a própria dignidade num esforço comunitário que está a mudar as suas vidas e o ambiente. Escreve Helda Martínez no Inter Press Service:
[…] Manos de Mujer currently operates with funding from two international Catholic development agencies: the Ireland-based Trócaire, and the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), based in England and Wales.
In Colombia it receives support from state institutions such as the Autonomous Corporation of Tolima, the Agricultural Research Corporation and the regional university, but only for specific issues. This support is limited to “knowledge sharing: they contribute their academic knowledge, and we share our experience and the wisdom acquired by the people,” Múnera said.
As part of the project, workshops are held every 15 days or so, with participants working with and discussing audiovisual material on a range of subjects, including soil composition, water cycles, nitrogen, phosphorous, carbon, agro-ecology and environmental education.
The training encourages women involved in Manos de Mujer, like Elcy Lozano, to dream big.
Lozano, who has been in the project for five years, told IPS that her dream is to “Make people aware. What we want to do is build. Not destroy. That’s what I long for every day. Because cattle ranching expands the desert, and is causing a lot of damage. We need to stop it, and revitalise the region instead,” she said emphatically.