When people have lived in poverty for generations, why do we think we can bring them out of it in even a few years? It can be a very thankless job because successes can be very few and far between. You aren’t alone if you wonder if you even have a success story. Here is one example of what success looks like:
Amparo is a single mom with eight kids. She has been volunteering with us for over a year. We weren’t able to build for her because she has no legal ownership of the piece of land she is living on. Over the course of a year, she built friendships with some of the other women she volunteers with. They began encouraging her to apply for a piece of land nearby that she could gain ownership of. Two ladies that have been working with us for a while walked her through the steps to acquire some land. The biggest obstacle was the $300 required for a down payment. She had exactly $0 saved. She hasn’t had a steady job since we’ve known her, and barely makes enough money for a little bit of food each day.
One of the ladies who met her through volunteering came to us and wanted to help with the down payment. Maricela is a mother of 5 kids. Her and her husband have not had steady work since we’ve known them either. They gave $40. Thats about two weeks of income for them but to her, Amparo needed it more than she did. Maricela believed that others were there for her when she was in need, and now she had the opportunity to help when someone else was in need. Over the course of four days Amparo’s community came beside her and raised the money needed for a down payment.
The day her house was completed, her neighbors and friends surrounded her, all crying as they looked at Amparo’s new home, which they had each helped make possible.
How we measure success is through locals serving in, and giving to, their community. We are happy to see more and more community members taking ownership in making their neighborhood a better place to live.