Through intentional reflection and relationship building women work with SIRENS to recognize their value in their community and harness their inner power. Sirens partners have become community leaders and entrepreneurs; demonstrating increased confidence in articulating their personal and professional goals.
Belkis is a fighter. She was born in a refugee camp in Honduras during the Salvadoran civil war. Once the violence subsided, Belkis and her family were able to return to their home in Morazan, El Salvador. Despite struggling with reproductive health issues, often finding herself bedridden and traveling hours to see doctors, she was determined to be a community leader and create a better future for herself. Before joining S!RENS, Belkis served as the guide to three Peace Corps volunteers and used music and television to teach herself English. Now at 30 years old, twelve years after finishing high school, Belkis has now returned to school to study tourism in a technical academy through a student scholarship. Belkis is a role model for young women in her community and exemplifies the idea that through hard work and perseverance dreams are attainable. The jewelry that she has made in partnership with S!RENS has been sold in El Salvador and the United States.
Once you get Loyda smiling she never stops, but it’ll take you sometime. Loyda never attended school, her knowledge comes from her life experiences. She has always been introverted, and struggled to connect with her peers. After the death of her first child she further isolated herself. In 2013, when Peace Corps volunteer Emily Castro moved in next door, Loyda slowly started to come out of her shell. Her curiosity around this new addition to her small community lead to many hours spent talking with Emily, sharing her desires to work and make her own money. Before participating in a S!RENS Community Lab, Loyda had yet to recognized her natural ability to create threading patterns. After one week she was hooked and has been making and selling her designs ever since. She uses her love of this work as therapy and sees selling her products as way to interact with her community and influence other women to create. Her artistry is becoming known in the community amongst young girls and this makes Loyda feel independent.