Dream Weavers is a student-run organization founded by my peers and I at Columbia officially this year. The initial founder was Kai Zhang, and the current Presidents are Alba Mota and Taylor Ramsey. I am an Executive Board member. Dream Weavers have a relationship with the Asociacion Adimat, a woman’s crafts cooperative in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala, whom our program focuses on currently. Our mission is two-fold: find sustainable markets for the women’s woven goods at fair-trade prices, and create free local after-school programs where students can earn scholarships to pay for their everyday schooling tuition. The two missions relate because in the small village, the weaving women are the mothers of the school children, and helping to support both the children and the mothers lightens the burden on the entire family. The money for the programs comes from our grant-writing and donations. Though we have plans to expand our program to other towns and even countries, we are starting small and perfecting our program in San Juan before working on expanding.
This year I hope to gain official recognition for Dream Weavers on Columbia’s campus. I also wish to raise $2000, which will provide educational scholarships for one-year for all of the children (ages 4-18) currently enrolled in our after-school program in San Juan La Laguna, who could otherwise not afford to attend any type of school. This amount will also provide a small salary for our after-school program local volunteer tutors. We also wish to start up a website to sell the women’s woven goods online.