AVANZAR creates programs which address the socio-economic demands that are left behind by the governmental and private sectors, and chooses existing projects which need an injection of resources (human as well as financial) in order to develop, grow and succeed.
Atelier Avanzar creates handmade products of superb quality, vibrant patterns, and timeless design. Each one of our pieces is made with love, dedication, and lots of hope for a better future. All our products are made with highly ethical production standards with the purpose of reaching economic and social performance.
With the coronavirus spreading across the globe, Ecuador is also under a lockdown to prevent the virus from causing excessive harm. As a consequence, universities had to close their doors and the participants in our courses cannot leave their homes.
Under these circumstances, we decided to take action and continue educating our women entrepreneurs in aspects that could easily be taught using online tools such as Facebook Live or Zoom. In addition to creating online courses in which we taught about marketing platform and programs, we also held discussions and interviews with various professionals to educate the women in issues such as food safety, legal amendments, business strategy, just to name a few.
These online classes were so popular that we decided to continue offering them even in times after corona. They usefully complement our university class offering and allow us to reach female entrepreneurs who live in remote areas and cannot attend courses at university on a regular basis.
Within a few weeks, the world as we know it has changed in ways we could never have imagined even in our worst dreams. The crisis surrounding the novel corona virus affects us all, all over the world and across all areas of the economy and life. And we are all striving to adapt our daily lives in order to deal with the situation in the best possible way.
We at AVANZAR also had to adapt our local projects to the new circumstances. Since Ecuador is one of the countries with the most cases in Latin America, the Ecuadorian government declared a state of emergency and closed the borders already on March 16th. Like almost everywhere else in the world, a total lockdown is intended to prevent the unhindered spread of the virus. For people whose livelihood depends on what they sell every day the current situation is simply desperate.
In normal times, the AVANZAR projects are aimed at providing the participants with practical training so that they can support their families as independent entrepreneurs. At the moment, however, we believe that we must support these women and their families in this crisis in other ways, such as by providing urgently needed food.
For 20 years now, FUNDACION AVANZAR has been active supporting underprivileged women living in precarious conditions in Ecuador. In the video, which can be seen in our MEDIA section, you can see how it all began and where the journey has led until today.
The figures speak for themselves: We have enabled 1,000 women through education to lead a self-determined and dignified life in financial independence. At the Ludoteca in the Hospital Vicente Corral Moscoso, 30,000 children have been treated with therapies and have had a smile put on their faces. 30 volunteers from different countries work on site. 5 NGOs have received financial support. Over the past 20 years, FUNDACION AVANZAR has grown from a small idea to an organization now indispensable in Cuenca and employs 7 people in their administration.
In cooperation with the San Isidro Instituto Superior in Cuenca, we started a new gastronomy course, this time with 25 women. To date, we have been able to offer these courses to 60 women annually. As of this year, we can not only accept more women per class, but we also have three courses in the program instead of just two. Thus, as many as 100 women will benefit from the training and be able to sustain themselves and their families with their small catering businesses.
"It is only possible to advance when one looks far ahead.
One can only make progress by thinking big."
José Ortega y Gasset