On October 21, students from the ITESM CCM’s (Tec de Monterrey campus in Mexico City) class “Gender Studies in Global Perspective” led by Bulgarian Visiting Professor Mariya Mincheva Dimova launched “TEJIENDO OPORTUNIDADES,” the first national crowdfunding campaign built by Tec de Monterrey and PSYDEH.
ITESM is an innovative, top-ranking private national Mexican university. PSYDEH is a cutting-edge, small NGO based in Hidalgo, Mexico. They serve different demographics but share the same mission: prepare future leaders in the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation and social responsibility.
The “Tejiendo Opportunities” campaign is supported by ITESM CCM’s management and the administration as a novel method for building bridges between worlds, for applied learning in Mariya’s multi-disciplinary course on gender studies. Here, over four months of instruction, students explore gender theory and its practical implications for how we think about social class and religion as well as legislative processes and making decisions. Mariya and PSYDEH decided therefore that a joint collaboration involving native women partners would be a win-win: for the students, PSYDEH and women.
For the students, “…the educational experience is greatly enhanced by out-of-class experiences, where students apply and deepen learning in real-life environments,” according to Mariya. She goes on, “This is key to my students realizing their potential for being primary drivers of the development of their country, to deconstruct the idea that expertise and funding for innovative collaborations must come from outside Mexico… [The campaign] is an opportunity to innovate classroom learning methods by involving students in a hands-on project having a direct positive impact on both a vulnerable group suffering from double discrimination in Mexico, indigenous women, AND the majority-indigenous women NGO PSYDEH who partners with them.”
For PSYDEH, Damon Taylor, their American senior advisor, states, “Tejiendo Oportunidades” is a natural continuation of our work to create year-round funding of our multi-year program and to building social capital between civil society institutions and Mexican and foreign citizens from different cultures, classes and regions of the country. We’ve been creatively fundraising throughout 2016 with our Mexico City events and global funding campaign. We’ve long linked native women partners with those outside the Region, most recently with a Regional visit by Mexico City-based foreign and Mexican professionals. And we’ve pursued creative ventures with academic institutions, including our 2015 informal collaboration with the US private university American University. ‘Tejiendo’ is an exciting new chapter in this strategic work!”
For native women leaders, they secure the funds needed by them and PSYDEH to continue work to develop, from the bottom-up, their strong communities. The campaign goal is $75,000 MXN. Donations will fund one of the important initiatives outlined in the first-tier of PSYDEH’s two-year plan. As important, women leaders are given a platform to exchange ideas with new friends, in their Region and in Mexico City.
On October 8, ITESM CCM students visited women leaders in the community of Santa Ana Tzacuala, Acaxochitlán, Hidalgo. They gathered photo and video content for their campaign through interviews with the women and PSYDEH’s project director Jorge Echeverría about PSYDEH’s multi-year program and a few of the nine projects being built and led by the women themselves to address their own problems. As Mariya states post visit (and reflected in the below pictures),
On November 10, PSYDEH and a number of women leaders from the Region will travel to ITESM’s Mexico City campus to participate in a formal event promoting the campaign. There, Mariya, PSYDEH and women leaders will offer a few words on the collaboration. Students will promote their “Tejiendo” campaign. Indigenous women will exhibit the artisan work they use to partially fund their bottom-up development work. And all will enjoy the fruit’s of Mariya’s passion: bridging worlds to realize our potential for being primary drivers of our own development, as individuals and as members of Mexican society.
You can join Tec and native women partners’ by investing HERE