ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION
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The Kateri Tekakwitha Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1997. Its mission is to “empower Guatemalan women to break the cycle of poverty by having a positive impact on their lives, families and communities through collaboration, educational scholarship and support, so the next generation will be able to reach their full potential.”
In 1991, Kay Sweeney volunteered in a Guatemalan religious community started by a San Francisco Presentation Sister. While there, Kay met Carmela Paz Bal, an indigenous woman who wanted to study at the university for a degree in anthropology. Kay created a scholarship fund for Carmela that evolved into the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund.
Kay is Managing Director of the 5-member all-women board in Pacifica, California. The annual budget is $55,000. In Guatemala, operations, management and development are handled by the 5-member Directiva (board of directors). The staff and members of the Directiva are local indigenous women and graduates of the program.
The Fund presently supports three projects in Guatemala: an intern program for recent high school graduates, a support program for students in secondary school, and a women's development program that includes a microcredit fund.
To empower Guatemalan women to break the cycle of poverty by having a positive impact on their lives, families, and communities through collaboration and educational support, so that the next generation will reach their full potential.