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CIS: Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad (Center of Exchange and Solidarity)
"I think that any single act that you do potentially could change the world."
-- James Estrin (award-winning NY Times photographer)
KABF recently learned from Leslie Schuld, the executive director of CIS, that the scholarship money that KABF provided in 2013 and 2014 has been used to support the high school education of two women. Carmen Elena is married and has three children. Sonia is a single mom with four young boys. Both women are regarded as leaders on Tasajera Island in La Paz, El Salvador. They are trained seamstresses, certified in sewing machine repair, and now, thanks to KABF they are also high school students! We are so proud of them!
Ms. Schuld also gave an update on the sewing center that CIS purchased with the 2013 KABF grant, along with an invitation to the inauguration ceremony on October 18, 2014. After some ups and downs they were able to purchase the women’s center along with a new security fence. A new roof and floor are still needed but where there’s a will there’s a way. A plaque that was commissioned for the inauguration of the sewing center reads: “Funded and managed by Kelly Ann Brown Foundation and CIS (Center of Exchange and Solidarity).” Kelly Ann Brown Foundation is excited to be in community with CIS and the women of Tasajera Island!
The cooperative consists of fifteen women, with six working full-time at the center. All women have received hands-on training in the art of sewing, and can boast the ability to create beautiful one-of-a-kind purses. Their latest accomplishment? All fifteen women have been certified in sewing machine repairs! This is exciting because in the past, repairs to the machines could run as high as $100, defeating the efforts of their labor. They can now repair their own machines as well as offer a repair business to the community. Truly a win/win!
As Leslie concludes in her wonderful update:
"Thank you for your faith in CIS and these women. I hope the foundation will also consider planning a delegation and visiting the center. I assure you it will be hugely inspiring!"
Click here to learn more about CIS.