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Living in Fear

This stunning video by our friends at International Justice Mission uncovers the link between violence and poverty. 

An impoverished mother fears that her young daughter could be kidnapped, raped, or worse while walking to school. Regularly she asks herself, “Do I keep my child at home to keep her safe or do I send her to school so that she can get the education she needs for a better life?” Another mother of five learns that her 19-year-old son has been murdered and fears other family members could become targets too. Around the world, countless other mothers fear violence in their own homes.

The issue of violence toward the impoverished is not widely reported or unique to one part of the world. Globally, the facts are disturbing; according to the Global Slavery Index nearly 30 million children, women and men are held as forced labor slaves. One in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape during their lifetime.

Violence in its very nature perpetuates the cycle of poverty—it flies in the face of individuals seeking employment, education, health, and community. Violence also threatens to stunt our efforts to join with communities to bring help and hope to people who are impoverished, hungry, and hurting.

The good news is that organizations like our friends at International Justice Mission (IJM) are facing the issue of violence head on. Their work to rescue victims, prosecute perpetrators and ensure that justice systems are serving the vulnerable is vital to our work to meet immediate needs and create long-term opportunities for people facing poverty.

IJM president Gary Haugen says, that we must, “secure what we have always treasured for ourselves: the freedom from violence and fear through which the global poor might finally find their opportunity to flourish and thrive.”

Working together to fight violence’s root causes brings hope to victims and empowers them to trade living in fear for living with hope.

Program Updates / Women's Empowerment
Madam Mari Carmen Aponte, the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, announces a $60,000 grant to Convoy of Hope’s Mothers’ Club program. Madam Mari Carmen Aponte, the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, announces a $60,000 grant to Convoy of Hope’s Mothers’ Club program.

U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador announces grant to support Convoy of Hope’s Mothers’ Clubs

Madam Mari Carmen Aponte, the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, announced a $60,000 grant to support Convoy of Hope’s Mothers’ Club program in El Salvador that equips poverty-stricken women with entrepreneurial skills to support their families.

“There’s no doubt that information is power, and this program is important in that it allows women to make healthy financial decisions that will help to improve their well being and the sustainability of their families and communities,” Aponte told more than 100 women involved in the program in El Salvador.

In announcing the grant, Aponte said women in the program would have access to seed capital to start their own businesses as well as be able to develop co-ops and savings groups.

“The goal of the grant is to encourage micro-enterprise and women’s business by minimizing barriers to their success,” says Convoy of Hope Latin America Regional Manager, Andrea Frey Metzger, noting that the the total investment — including Convoy of Hope’s portion — is more than $150,000. “We’re extremely grateful for the support of Ambassador Aponte and the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador. This will help build upon the accomplishments we’ve seen with women in the program and will help provide them with with long-term financial and emotional security.”

Frey Metzger says the women will receive all of the usual training from Mothers’ Clubs (nutrition, hygiene, literacy, agriculture and emotional care) along with the provision of seed capital. “We’re committed to standing beside these women as they begin their businesses and will closely monitor their growth,” she adds.

Since its inception in El Salvador in 2011, 503 women have graduated from the program, and it’s currently being introduced in Honduras and Nicaragua. The Mothers’ Club program is part of Convoy of Hope’s broader Women’s Empowerment work that is also educating and supporting poverty-stricken women and their families in Ethiopia and Tanzania.

News / Program Updates / Women's Empowerment