Marisa and her Association of Women Entrepreneurs are building solidarity between migrants and host communities
While making the long walk from Venezuela to Colombia, Marisa experienced the stark reality of such a journey. She travelled with pregnant women, unaccompanied children, and other highly vulnerable groups they all faced the constant threat of robbery and predatory human traffickers. With xenophobia against migrants and refugees also on the increase in Latin America as a result of COVID-19, Marisa knew that even in her place of refuge there could be risks of hostility.
“My power is to transform negative things into positive ones, to try not to stay in the tragedy, that is my philosophy. I always want to leave something good where I go”. As Vice-President of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Cristo Rey – one of the most vulnerable neighbourhoods in Pamplona, with a high concentration of the migrant population – that is exactly what she has done.
The Association supports women to set up small businesses and revitalise the neighbourhood in ways that ensures everyone can benefit; including displaced, migrants and host communities. Marisa says this work has made her feel part of the community: “When I talk to women, we realize that there are no borders, we are simply women, no matter where you are… you think and feel the same.”
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About CARE’s Women Lead in Emergencies Program
These inspirational women are all part of CARE’s global Women Lead in Emergencies program. Women Lead in Emergencies is the first practical toolkit for frontline humanitarians to support women to take the lead in responding to crises that affect them and their communities. This approach puts decision-making – and money – in the hands of women directly affected by crisis. CARE and partners accompany women’s groups, as they increase their awareness of their rights, build confidence and solidarity, and take collective action to improve their lives and their communities. Find out more.