Josefina dons her blue apron — embroidered with “Convoy of Hope” on the front — and starts the tour of her tienda. The mild Nicaraguan winters mean she can leave her front door open for potential customers.
“I started off selling ice, but now I’ve invested in other things to sell,” she explains. “I have chickens I can sell for meat and eggs. I also sell popsicles and other goods. My goal is to expand this and own my own grocery store.”
Josefina looks taken aback as she speaks, almost as if she can’t believe what she’s saying. That’s because she was in a very different situation only one year ago. Unable to buy groceries without going into debt, she enrolled in Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment initiative as soon as she knew it was a possibility.
“I participated, and I didn’t miss any of the sessions,” she says with a laugh.
After she graduated, she opened her shop and saved money. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Several medical emergencies took place in her family that she was able to pay for without going into debt — something she never would have been able to do before opening her business.
As Josefina walks around her store, she points proudly to a piece of paper hanging on the wall. It’s the diploma she received when she graduated from the Women’s Empowerment program. With tears in her eyes, she says, “I want my children to be in school and study, so they don’t have to struggle the way I have.”
Thanks to Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program, women around the world like Josefina are ending the cycles of poverty in their families and communities, while also cultivating hope for future generations.