Visionaria Network joins the WomenStrong Learning Lab

Paul SpurzemNews

This Summer, Visionaria Network was thrilled to join WomenStrong International’s learning lab, joining a cohort of leading girls Education and Empowerment organizations from around the world.

They featured Visionaria Network and our history in an article, Provoking a Gender ‘Mindshift’ Among Peru’s Teachers“:

Visionaria Network, one of WomenStrong International’s newest members, is placing its bet on education – not just for girls, not only for Quechua children, but for all secondary students nationwide. Their goal is to ensure that all students recognize the value of girls and women, and that every girl and boy have the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence to pursue pathways toward opportunity.

The organization started out with more modest ambitions.

Visionaria was founded by several international development professionals working in Peru who saw their well-designed projects stall, such as promoting clean cookstoves. Why? Families, and especially women, did not adopt their recommendations because those recommendations didn’t come from community priorities.

“Visionaria grew out of the realization that women and girls who are supposed to benefit from international development projects are too often left out of their design,” says Paul Spurzem, one of the organization’s founders.

These development professionals realized that girls and women are critical to the success of community improvement projects. That’s when they started a summer leadership program for Peruvian girls, to design and implement service-learning projects in their communities.

Their approach helped identify community priorities and position girls as leaders with valuable insight – overcoming girls’ own self-doubts in the process. The girls soon advocated for their male peers to join in, particularly for projects that address gender inequality.

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