There are few things that thrill our board members more than seeing one of the widows in our program graduate from Finding Freedom through Friendship. This final step in our four-tiered organization is a stellar moment for all of us, but most importantly for widows like Irma.
As a mother of two boys, one of whom has a lifelong chronic illness, Irma struggled to obtain medical care and adequate food for her family. Living with her parents secured Irma’s housing needs, which allowed us to focus on funding treatment for the family’s profound dental disease and nutritional needs.
During our recent visit to Irma’s family enclave, tucked in a misty valley in the highlands of northwestern Guatemala, we toured this spunky mother’s home, met her extended family and demonstrated proper wound care for her son’s skin ulcers. Everything we witnessed validated that Irma had the “FFF Glow”….this particular widow had received the support she needed at a critical time and with one final donation, she would be ready to shine.
Every FFF widow has different talents that can be, with proper guidance, gleaned into an income producing project. For this particular mama, the donation of a heifer was the perfect fit. Future breedings with the neighbor’s bull will produce milk and calves to sell, and her father had adequate fields for grazing.
Facilitators Faby (photo, on left) and Vinnie (our Guatemalan board members) worked diligently with Irma to help her access donated dental care, and they delivered her monthly FFF food donations and wound care supplies. The sponsorship from the Miller Family in Colorado made this “hand up” possible.
Our donors, board members and facilitators are dedicated behind-the-scenes miracle makers. So much work goes into bringing a Mayan widow in our program out of the cycle of poverty. Trips to doctors offices, grocery shopping, monthly home visits and reports to write. Fundraising, grant writing and excel spreadsheets to create. Networking scholarships, sponsorships and supplies. Spreading the message of what we do and why we do it. Our work is driven by a passion to provide widows with what they need, both psychologically, medically, and physically, to be the best mothers possible to their children.
A heifer being led into a new life with a budding young future business woman seems the perfect way to end 2016. Seven of our widows have been launched into their own small businesses in the past two years. The future sales of these income generating projects will benefit twenty-two children. Our work is driven by a passion to provide widows with what they need, both psychologically, medically, and physically, to be the best mothers possible to their children.
Sometimes the gifts that can’t be wrapped are the best kind of presents.