We are so excited to welcome Ruth Curruchich to our team! Rut will serve as Outreach Coordinator and will be responsible for strengthening WJI’s network of Community Advocates as well as ties with local leaders and service providers.
Advocates undergo 18 months of intensive training with WJI to serve as rights educators and mentors in their communities. They host talks on violence against women and girls (VAWG), refer survivors of violence to WJI, and collaborate with community leaders to develop plans for preventing and responding to violence against women and girls.
Advocates are crucial to the sustainability of WJI’s work, as they fight against gender-based violence by referring and accompanying women to WJI for legal services and by helping to lead education programs in their communities. We recently interviewed Rut to learn more about her experiences, her work with the Community Advocates and her commitment to gender equity.
Tell us more about your experience before joining WJI.
I studied Environmental Engineering and Management in college. Prior to working with WJI, I coordinated programs and worked on community and grassroots proposals to reduce and confront gender-based violence in order to guarantee women’s economic autonomy and political participation. I was an active member of student movements with the Agronomy department at San Carlos University.
Why did you want to work with WJI?
I wanted to work with WJI because WJI improves the lives of Kaqchikel women, guaranteeing the prevention of violence, access to education, and justice in rural areas.
What is your role with WJI?
My role involves managing relationships and increasing WJI’s visibility with external actors as well as with local community members, whether they are participants in WJI’s programs or other key members of the community. In addition, I am responsible for strengthening the network of Community Advocates.
Why do you think your role, the programs of WJI, and the network of Community Advocates are important?
This role is important because it supports WJI’s work in providing rural, indigenous women access to justice by working with diverse internal and external actors in the community. Working directly with communities allows women to become resilient and have the necessary mechanisms to confront violence from the start. Community Advocates represent the sustainability of WJI’s work in each community.
Welcome to the team, Rut!