Mission

To empower under-resourced and at-risk young women through intensive job-and-life-skill training for them to be employable or establish their own business if they are so inclined.


Vision

We envision our beneficiaries and other stakeholders - especially those directly involved in the daily life - of Fundación GARROBO as AGENTS in the POSITIVE TRANSFORMATION of families, communities, and society as a whole.

Our history

In 1999, while living in India, Jiji (FUNDAGARROBO co-founder) and Iongsin (Jiji's Korean-Swiss friend) wanted to raise funds for schools in disadvantaged communities on the outskirts of New Delhi. After seeking sponsors, a manufacturer agreed to produce fashionable children's clothing for the cause from its leftover fabrics for less than the export price.

We named the collection "Sitara", a Hindi word meaning star, and sold the first collection to the international community of New Delhi. The Sitara children's clothes sold like hot cakes!!!....and the fun began!

Sitara is also the name of a girl who worked as a merchandiser with the producer who supplied us with the clothes. She lived with her family in a community near the factory that produced our collection. Sitara started as a helper to everything, cleaning and serving tea. She had little education, but she continued to study after work. Within a few years, she became a trusted employee; she rose to the challenge and became the company's star marketer, responsible for some of its large European buyers.

It was then that the idea was conceived to design a training program for disadvantaged young women to create jobs and raise funds by adding value to surplus fabrics or leftovers from mass production. But the concept traveled quite a bit: from India, Spain, to Cambodia.

And after eleven years, the GARROBO project was born in 2010! Unexpectedly. In El Salvador!

Two years later, the pilot project was officially launched. And on March 11, 2016, the GARROBO project was officially gazetted as a registered non-profit organization in El Salvador as Fundación Garrobo de El Salvador.

Sitara's story was -and will continue to be the inspiration for the GARROBO project.

Why "GARROBO"?

GARROBO (Ctenosaura pectinata) is the Salvadoran name for the male iguana.

The GARROBO likes the sun and is a herbivore. El Salvador lists it as a protected species

Just as the garrobo is among the protected species in El Salvador, so are the young vulnerable beneficiaries of the project. They are trained skills for job and life. They are empowered to protect themselves and others.

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How we roll...

We have our own fully-equipped workshop in a safe environment

El Salvador is known to be a dangerous place. Especially for disadvantaged young women. Therefore, security is of paramount importance to GARROBO. We want to guarantee that our garrobitas can learn and concentrate on their training without fear of being victimised by criminal elements.

The GARROBO Project's training program is inspired by the Swiss apprenticeship system: 80% on the job: to acquire technical knowledge and skills, and 20% in theory.

We also support the garrobitas in their school work to develop/improve their reading, writing, comprehension, and math skills. Practical life-skill training is provided through motivational talks, team-building exercises and business experience working within our social enterprises.

At the end of their training, they will have reached a level of technical competence in their area of interest: garments and fashion, aesthetics and well-being, or food business. They can choose to either look for employment in their field of competence or have their own small business. Or both. Whatever their inclination. That's empowerment!


FREE INTENSIVE COURSES FOR BENEFICIARIES WITH INSAFORP ACCREDITED FACILITATORS:

  1. For ages 14 - 17: Two years of on-the-job technical training, course theory, and workshops to develop life skills facilitated by qualified teachers and facilitators.

  2. For ages 18 and over: A three-month technical training in industrial clothing to give them the skills and competence to work as machine operators for clothing producers.

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We generate income through:

Manufacturing services for local and international wholesalers and retailers as well as for gyms, boutiques, etc.

Low minimum quantities. You can choose from our style collection and fabric inventory or you can bring your own fabrics and accessories.

Sale of our own brand, "Garrobostyle" products

Gym/yogawear. Basic styles and limited edition of sublimated designs. High-quality workmanship and export-quality fabrics with quick-drying, sweat- and/or odor-absorbent properties.

Made-to-order garments of any type

Garment repairs and adjustments done while you wait

Private classes on sewing machine operations for groups and/or individuals

Product development and production services

Designers and design students are welcome to have their projects/prototypes developed and/or produced with us.

We personalise items for individuals and sports teams for any occasion

We can also design for you. Or you can send us your own designs; we will interpret and produce them for you.

STORIES OF CHANGE

"The GARROBO project is a great help in transforming my life. Thanks to its technical training program, I have learned how to handle various machines and operations, as well as many other things on how I can manage my personal life. Since last year I am employed as operator of GARROBO and this knowledge serves me well. In addition, my daughter is well cared for at the Montessori Child Development Center (now CVIM). GARROBO plays an important role in supporting single teenage mothers and vulnerable young women who would otherwise They don't have other opportunities and resources to improve their lives."

Karla Liseth


Where is Liseth now (2021 update): Liseth is still part of The GARROBO Project. Together with Rosa, another ex-beneficiary, she is in charge of the training of the new garrobitas and the garment production. In January 2022 she qualified and is now an accredited INSAFORP facilitator.


"The GARROBO project is a great help for single teenage mothers. Here we learn to handle various machines and operations to acquire skills and experience and be able to be employed. I am proud to be part of the project because it gives opportunities to young people who are in the same situation that I I am happy to be an operator now at GARROBO because I keep learning more."


Dinah Elizabeth


Where Is Dina Now (2021 Update): Dina has been a full-fledged mechanic in TexOps since 2016.


How can you participate in the transformation of these young women?

  1. BUY GARROBOSTYLE PRODUCTS. For yourself. Or as a gift to your loved ones on any occasion: birthdays, Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's and Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or any special day. 100% of our sales proceeds finance the beneficiaries' daily allowances and program training expenses.

  2. DONATE financially or in-kind. We accept fabrics, trims and accessories, sewing tools and equipment, craft supplies, cleaning supplies, masks, school, art and office supplies, healthy books for children (up to 6 years old) and teens.

  3. SPONSOR A GARROBITA. Any amount helps. The training and materials are free and the garrobitas receive a daily allowance for transport and other training necessities.

  4. VOLUNTEER. Share your time, knowledge, experience, and talent to teach the garrobitas. It can be teaching handicrafts or a talk on any subject that would help in the growth and widening of their horizons.

We believe in:

  1. Formal/Informal education and practical job-/life-skill training as a potent combination to empower individuals

  2. Encouraging a lifestyle that promotes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

  3. Providing a safe environment

  4. Promoting high school completion

  5. Providing a space for study and doing homework

  6. Providing an environment to discover what makes each individual unique

  7. Providing a sense of community

  8. Celebrating individual and group achievements, no matter how small

  9. Promoting self-development


Share this flyer below to a potential Garrobita!

Shop sportswear, sports boxers, shorts, scarves, sports bras, tops, leggings, capris and much more

Contract our services of manicure, pedicure, wellness massages and eyebrow and eyelash design

Hire our catering services for companies or social events such as: birthdays, Valentine's Day, Father's and Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas or any event or special day.