August 18, 2014. Bajo Calima, Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Butterflies of New Wings is a network comprised of about 120 core volunteers. Each woman is tasked with recruiting five new women so that their reach will become wider. The group is described as a “ protection network of women helping women within the armed conflict.” Part of their strategy is to stay below the radar of the armed groups - of which there are many- in Buenaventura.From Left:
Maritza Yaneth Asprilla Cruz 49 ears old; IDP; 3 children-Adult son died in tragic accident-Suffered domestic violence by her stepfather-By age 7 she took care of her siblings; at age 9 she started working as a maid-Received her high school diploma at 36 years old. -Now she studies to become a nurse-She joined the "Butterfly network" 2 years ago.-She teaches women about self-care.
Gloria Amparo Arboleda Murillo IDP; 49 years old; co-founder of Butterflies-Single mother of two daughters-Grew up in extreme poverty; raised 4 of her siblings from age of 7 (mother disabled)-20+ yrs promoting women’s rights- 2008: helped generate support for a new Women’s Law to safeguard women’s rights & prevent SGBV-Has faced direct threats after helping a mother/daughter who suffered domestic abuse.
Mery Medina 50 years old; at high risk of displacement-Single mother to her son-Coordinates a group of 30 women whose husbands/sons have been assassinated or have disappeared-Helps to improve their financial position by offering cooking & sewing workshops-Helps SGBV survivors to speak and express their emotions-Didn’t have money to study, but her dream was always to become a social worker. Photo Credit: Juan Arredondo for UNHCR.