Dear Family & Friends,
I am currently inspired and excited by my acceptance and upcoming participation in this 5-Month Natural Building Apprenticeship by Kleiwerks International, a woman-run organization that focuses on teaching WOMEN to become leaders in the natural building movement. I'd love to invite you to support me on my journey ahead, and I thank you in advance for anything you are able to offer. This means so much to me and I look forward to using what I learn in ways that help to heal our planet...
As many of you know, I have spent the last four years in the Peruvian Amazon, working with indigenous people around environmental and social justice issues. While it has not always been easy I have learned a great deal about the world, myself, and my potential to be of service to others.
One of the most exciting parts of my time here has been an initiative to build structures (benches, school houses, toilets) out of plastic bottles filled with trash -- an initiative that provides communities with free locally available building materials, while reducing the growing waste problem in the Amazon. It is a very exciting initiative that is now taking off. (See my blog and a video interview about the program)
However, being a woman in an extremely male-dominant culture has been very difficult for me. Not only for the way it has directly affected me, but also seeing how this oppression has shaped the young girls and women here. (You can read a blog entry of mine about this here). As a result, I have become increasingly involved in initiatives to empower women and girls.
So you can imagine my utter delight when I stumbled across this initiative that works with women to learn how to build using naturally-occurring resources – a union of the two themes that I have been most passionate about. I knew right away that this was something I had to be a part of.
Following my Apprenticeship, I plan to work in the Americas to empower women, restore building practices that work in harmony with nature, and build community. My first project will be to build student housing for indigenous scholarship students in Peru. This project will not only utilize natural materials, but also the plastic bottle approach that has worked so well for us until now, only without cement!
However, I need to raise $4,000 toward my participation in the Apprenticeship. Would you be willing to help support my journey into this empowering movement by making a contribution? Any amount, from modest to eye-popping, is welcome and so appreciated!
And in appreciation of your support, I will give those who donate $25 or more an online photo album of the 3 month process. Donations of $125 or more will receive a beautiful tapestry made by a Shipibo women’s artisan group that I have been working with here. And for donations of over $500, we can talk about how I can use my new-found skills to make something for you out of….DIRT! (from small decorations for your house, to perhaps something larger)
I thank you for support, and am so excited to share this journey with you!
Love and thanks,