What do your donations of money, when converted into services for our widows, look like in Guatemala? It is a common question from donors who are understandably jittery about the wise use of their funds.
Household items for Andrea, mother/stepmother to six children.
To Andrea, our donations of household supplies (pictured above) are not just plastic dishware, a tablecloth and adequate pots to cook her donated food in.
The blankets to cover her children at night and the beds for them to sleep in are wonderful and she is appropriately grateful.
The $500 scholarship for her oldest step-child is a gift beyond Andrea’s means to provide and this opportunity does not escape her attention. Monthly food donations seem to Andrea to be a gift that appeared out of nowhere, something she could not have dreamed of qualifying for. She realizes after all, that she is but one of thousands of needy mothers in the mountains surrounding her home.
For this Mayan mother, the humanitarian help that is being donated on her behalf feels like a momentary lapse in a life of destitution. There is little cause, in her mind, for celebration. Andrea knows that good fortune may have found her but it can just as easily leave her behind in the debris of her life of ingrained poverty.
This particular widow is one of our newest program participants and as such, she has little understanding of our focus on making long-term significant change for the widows we accept. Andrea has no idea how heavily we value a human-centric method of bringing the most marginalized citizens into a life they were meant to live. Doing so means that the final part of your donation toward our widows will involve changing their mindset about their self-worth.
When a mother at the lowest level of economic security can’t feed or educate her children, her spirit withers. Being the role model a mother wishes to be starts with adequate provision. Waking each day inside a home that looks like Andrea’s makes for a long day of without. Without warmth, mental stimulation, marginal if any food, even clothing. It is not only the children who suffer.
Finding Freedom through Friendship builds indigent mothers up, one home visit; one monthly food delivery; one household donation at a time. Faces brighten, children gain weight, minds blossom and best of all, Mothers like Andrea unfold from their fear and become the women their children need them to be.
There isn’t any gift more meaningful this holiday.
(Photo credits: Frances Dixson)