Empowering indigenous women with Mama Tierra

Giving Women and Mama Tierra are crowdfunding for indigenous women to present their craft work at international trade fairs. That way we would secure the livelihood of over 800 indigenous people in Colombia and Venezuela.
Indigenous women earn the family’s living, bring up the children and pass on the indigenous heritage. The strategic focus is on women because they are the strongest link in many indigenous societies, but this is particularly true in the Wayuu culture, as they have a matrilineal kinship structure.  Our goal is to fundraise until end of November 2019 the set goal! If you like our project, please share it in your network. Thank you!


Currently, Mama Tierra offers a fix income to over 120 women supporting an extended community of over 800 people in Colombia and Venezuela. Mama Tierra is a Swiss non-profit organisation producing, distributing and researching about indigenous crafts, aiming to support the financial independence of indigenous women. Together with Giving Women we are empowering indigenous women in extreme poverty. Giving Women is a membership association, which seeks to make a meaningful difference in the lives of women and girls in need. 

With around 600,000 people, the Wayuu is the largest indigenous group in Colombia and Venezuela. They are a disadvantaged population and lead a struggle for survival. The reasons for this are lack of access to clean drinking water and the soaring inflation from Venezuela, where the Wayuu used to get processed food, such as flour. According to research by the Colombian channel RCN in 2014, in the Colombian Guajira 50 Wayuu children under the age of 5 die each month. In 2013, UNICEF Colombia counted 27.9 percent of malnourished children in La Guajira Colombia.
Indigenous Wayuu women earn the family’s living, bring up the children, struggle for the preservation of the environment and pass on the indigenous heritage. The strategic focus is on women because they are the strongest link in many indigenous societies, but this is particularly true in the Wayuu culture, as they have a matrilineal kinship structure. Women lead their households usually composed by 7 family members, taking care of their children and of the elder relatives. Mama Tierra has therefore chosen to empower indigenous women as strategic move.
Mama Tierra empowers women by:

- Existence-saving wages
- Offering its own upfront payments.
- Work materials are put at disposal to the women (crochet needles, yarn, scissors, metric tape, zippers, etc)
- Training courses to improve or learn craft techniques
- Being in their home also allows women to watch after their livestock
- Working from home allows the artisans to look after their children and the elderly among them
- Supporting indigenous women with nutritional, solar and environmental programs.

Being the production of crafts one of the few financial activities women in La Guajira are able to make, Mama Tierra provides women in the region with monthly order to secure their family’s income. Indigenous peoples should be able to earn a living in their own cultural context rather than working in mines, factories or households in the city, not to mention smuggling, a very common and dangerous activity done by many Wayuu.
Due to limited exposure to international trade fairs, the Mama Tierra crafts are stocking up and the work of the Wayuu women is at risk. We are fundraising to give Mama Tierra more exposure and promote sales at next years trade shows in Berlin, Paris, Milan and Zürich. International designers like Coral Hernandez Finol, who have worked for Desigual or Custo Barcelona create Mama Tierra's intrinsic designs. Others are Amber Vittoria, who has worked for Gucci or Google. As well as the renown Swiss Designer Patrizia Stalder has supported Mama Tierra by donating her designs.

In Exchange for your donations you can receive Mama Tierra products. Please contact: katherine@mama-tierra.org for further information. Giving Women will hold a sales event coming 26th November in Geneva, where Mama Tierra will participate. In this occasion you are welcome to pick up your goodie. For more information please check the Giving Women website: https://givingwomen.ch/events/geneva/ If you are near Zürich, please contact Katherine, you can choose and pick up your goodie at Mama Tierra's Atelier: https://mama-tierra.org/en/content/4-about 

Bookmark or bracelet (20 CHF donation)
The lovingly handmade bracelets not only adorn the wrists but, according to the Wayuu people, lend strength and promote diligence. Our friendship bracelets make very special bookmarks as well! With their purchase, you are supporting our environmental project to protect the Caribbean flamingo in Venezuela.  A card introducing our flamingo project will be shipped along with each bracelet.
Ethnic Clutch (50 CHF donation)
This is a 20 cm long and 15 cm wide clutch, made by indigenous Wayuu women. The indigenous people use their fabrics to map their territories, thus each bag may represent a piece of land, a village or an animal trace. This clutch is ideal to store makeup or store your travel documents.

Mama Tierra Bags (100-150 CHF donations)
Bold, trendy and each a unique piece! Get your middle-size Mama Tierra bag now. Each bag is a unique piece and handmade by a Wayuu woman. The name of the creator of the particular bag you chose will be noted inside the bag.
Mama Tierra S Bag, size: 18 cm length und 25 width.  (100 CHF donation)
Mama Tierra M Bag, size: 25 cm length und 30 width.   (150 CHF donation)
Let’s bring the Mama Tierra project to the next level! Together we can give Mama Tierra the push they need to keep empowering indigenous women.  You will receive a report, which will inform you where Mama Tierra spent the funds fundraised with this campaign.

Lifestyle Video

More information about Mama Tierra (in German)

Donations (0)

  • Claudia Becker 
    • CHF100 
    • 7 d
  • Christina Meyer 
    • CHF300 
    • 15 d
  • Anonymous 
    • CHF30 
    • 20 d
  • Nadja Schmid 
    • CHF330 
    • 24 d
  • Gila Kohen 
    • CHF100 
    • 27 d
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Fundraising team (7)

Katherine Katherine 
Raised CHF780 from 6 donations
Baden, AG, Switzerland
Nadja Schmid 
Team member
Raised CHF330 from 1 donation
Atalanti Moquette 
Team member
Raised CHF270 from 4 donations
Lourdes Grollimund 
Team member
Raised CHF100 from 1 donation
Jenny Yerena Schönberger 
Team member
See all
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