Evelyne Nantermod lives in Switzerland where she is a gynaecologist. A fervent advocate for the cause of women, their health, well-being and autonomy, Evelyne is impressed by the elegance and courage of the women she meets in 2015, during her very first trip to Cuba. She then had the trigger: why not combine her vocation with her love of the country? Four years later, she tells us the story of the creation of the program "Mujeres tejiendo su futuro" which she co-directs with Abigail Vouillamoz within the Ganydar Foundation. 

How did you fall in love with Cuba?

It was in 2015, as part of a trip organized by Venga Project around dance and music. We took salsa dance classes given by professional dancers and attended major live concerts of Cuban music.
The professionalism of the artists (dancers, musicians, painters) as well as the dignity, courage and elegance that the Cuban people demonstrate in response
to the great difficulties of their daily lives have definitely impressed and conquered me. I call this the "Cuban genius".

This immersion in what the country has to offer in terms of creativity and ingenuity has had a profound impact on me.

And I must also mention the beauty of its capital, Havana, an architectural masterpiece...in danger...

How did you come up with the idea of building a project in Cuba?

The plight of women has touched me very much. I have a natural sensitivity to the status of women - probably acquired by my own gender. Knowing that they have to choose between feeding themselves or providing themselves with basic female necessities, moving around or dressing their children... could not leave me indifferent.

How did you find out about the Ganydar Foundation?

I discovered the Ganydar Foundation in 2018 when I was looking for a way for women to become more autonomous, more creative of their destiny.
Laurent Cuénoud (the founder of Venga Project, editor's note) - a very good friend - told me about a foundation that helps young people in vulnerable situations in Latin America, especially in Cuba.

He put me in touch with Lucien Vouillamoz - founder of Ganydar, whom I met in Switzerland.
I explained to her my motivation to develop, in conjunction with the other existing programmes, a support project specifically linked to women's needs.

What has happened since that meeting?

A program was born and I thank Lucien Vouillamoz for thinking that my idea was a good one and for giving it substance. 

The program is called " Mujeres tejiendo su futuro"which can be translated as"Women weaving their future". A nod to sewing, an ode to creation and self-determination.

The objective is to create sewing schools-workshops in Cuba to enable women to become autonomous.

The project is well on its way to completion, we have obtained the authorizations from the authorities and equipment is being given to us gradually. A trip is planned for October 2019 to deliver some of the equipment to the site.

The last word?

I would like to say that there comes a time in everyone's life when the evidence of supporting the less fortunate is evident. Life is in charge of making us know the people who will allow an idea to be transformed into a project and see the light of day... And that's what's happening to me...

Abigail Vouillamoz (left) and Evelyne Nantermod (right), the two co-founders of the "Mujeres Tejiendo Su Futuro" programme.

A generous donation of seven completely overhauled sewing machines ready to be sent to the beneficiaries of the program on the island of Cuba.

Want to support Abigail and Evelyne's program,
"Mujeres Tejiendo Su Futuro"?

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