Every woman in the small village of Miravelle Nicaragua, has a story. Most are sad, some are tragic but all have one thing in common—the need to survive amongst poverty. Thirty women in this backwoods community have made recent business plans, as suggested by the Nicaragua Children’s Foundation, in hope of making their dream come true. What’s their dream? To earn enough money to survive. To afford food, medical care and clothes for their children. One could say to put food on the table but most shacks do not have a table. Life is grim in Miravelle where there is no electricity and water is collected from a nearby stream. Malaria and Denge fever are constant threats. And yet, these women get up in the morning, brush their children’s hair, dress them in the school uniform of a clean white shirt and dark pants, and send their little ones to the open air school down the road in hopes of an education and a better life.
They are single mothers, grandmothers, enterprising twenty-year olds, wives with five children, all women with hope, against all odds. If you could see how they live, you’d wonder how they had such spirit.
The Nicaragua Children’s Foundation is committed to helping the women in Miravelle to open their own businesses, as they recently did with the neighboring village of Ojachal. The trick? Microloans. Finding sponsors willing to part with $80--$150 for a year to help a woman start her business. The cooperative group of women in Ojachal support each other in their endeavors, work together to insure success for everyone. This author had lunch at one woman's ‘cafe’ and it was beautifully served, tasty, and much appreciated after a morning of delivering supplies to the remote farmsteads.
Some of the twenty-two Ojachal women have used their microloans to buy chickens and sell eggs, some sew, one sells firewood to restaurants from a cart, one sells enchiladas up and down the main road. The sense of accomplishment amongst the women is obvious, their pride visible when they speak of their accomplishments.
What does this have to do with you? These businesses were funded by people like yourselves, who simply admired hope in the face of such poverty--kind-hearted people who wrote a check to become a silent partner, a benefactor, a sponsor. The loan is interest free and payable in one year’s time. You may choose to lend someone else the money or not. The Economist magazine reports that Bangladesh has done very well recently with programs supporting microcredit. It's a long-term way for someone to get out of poverty.
The Nicaragua Children’s Foundation is launching their second project this month for the town of Miravelle, just in time for you to put some of those holiday present dollars towards changing a life. They are asking for a microloan for each of the thirty women.
Do you have a few dollars to spare this year? Would you be willing to support a business in Central America to make someone's life better? Go ahead. Jump in. Change a life. The feeling you get when you help is like no other.
Please contact the Nicaragua Children’s Foundation for more information on how you can help sponsor one of the thirty women of Miravelle. Mona, the founder will be thrilled.