Tag: Women’s Empowerment

Cheerful with Chickens: Leana’s Story

Leana is a chicken farmer in Nicaragua. She recently joined Convoy of Hope’s Agriculture program and her family started a new, hopeful journey. In many different ways, the past year has been particularly emotional for her. At the beginning of the year, the pandemic had already taken a toll on Leana and her community.

“I am a housewife. I cook, I wash, I do everything a housewife does,” she said. “My husband no longer had a job, and I was worried we were going to suffer and wonder where he was going to get food for our home.”

Leana had also accumulated a worrisome amount of debt. With no income, few options, and bills looming, Leana was concerned for her family’s well-being.

“One day, the pastor called me and said, ‘Sister Leana, some programs are coming for the church. Do you want to enter?’”

At first, she wasn’t sure what to expect. She began learning how to raise chickens, how to run a business, and how to pursue a future full of hope. Leana described the day that she received 50 chickens from Convoy of Hope and realized that she could start a new life and run a successful farm to support her family. She jumped for joy.

“I had many debts, and thanks to God, with raising chickens, I have paid those debts. [I feel] cheerful with all the love, with all the emotion that we have in this little job.”

A year filled with negative emotions — anxiety, despair, and heartache — gave way to a new chapter full of cheer, abundance, and hope.

“These trainings are essential for success in raising chickens,” Leana said. “We thank God and Convoy of Hope, who have helped us. We ask God to keep them and help them every day … may He bless them all.”Thanks to your support, people like Leana are starting new, hopeful chapters around the world. To help us bring valuable resources and education to those who need them most, click here.

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Agriculture

Persevering, providing, prospering: Linnette’s story

“I have suffered a lot,” Linnette said. 

Linnette’s upbringing in El Salvador came with a unique set of challenges. At an early age, an accident robbed her of motor function in one leg. However, with a new outlook, some care and support, and a great measure of perseverance, Linnette started a successful business and lives a life full of hope. 

“I did not feel I had anyone in my life to look out for me,” said Linnette. “I did not want to talk to anyone. I would not leave my house because I was embarrassed because I could not walk. I had to crawl on the floor to move around.” 

Linnette found it difficult to provide for her children and to talk with them about their situation. Unable to use a wheelchair to help with mobility, she persisted and eventually discovered she could use a bicycle.

Linnette began participating in Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program and learned important skills and values to help her start a business and realize her self-worth. Now, she is the proud owner of a successful pupusa stand and an inspiration to her entire community. 

“I hope my story helps people in my community to feel brave, to believe in themselves, and be encouraged by my story in a way that will help them work hard to also overcome the difficult situations life may be presenting to them,” she said. “You may think that what you have given me is very little, but for me it is a lot.”

Each morning, Linnette commutes to work on her bicycle and proudly serves pupusas to others in her community. “I feel very happy,” she said. 

Since 2011, Convoy of Hope has empowered more than 46,000 women and girls around the world through Women’s Empowerment. More than half — an astounding 26,841 — began a new chapter within the past year.With your help, we can continue providing new opportunities to people who need them most. To support Convoy of Hope as we continue empowering individuals around the world, click here.

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Women's Empowerment

Encouraged & Empowered: Elizabeth’s Story

“I am a widow and a mother of five,” said Elizabeth. “I work hard to try and make ends meet and my biggest help comes from the church.”

Elizabeth has been doing her best to care for her children since her husband’s death. But when the pandemic struck in Kenya, jobs became scarce. Elizabeth briefly described how she felt trying to feed her children while looking for stable employment: “Frustrated.”

Turning to her local church, a Convoy of Hope partner in Kenya, she found help and new opportunities. The church’s women’s group encouraged and supported her while she coped with her husband’s death. She labeled the food that her children received at school through Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program as the best thing that’s happened to her. The education she gained through our Women’s Empowerment program helped her understand her value and provided her with skills to begin a new, lucrative career.

“It reminds us that there are people who think about us,” Elizabeth said. “Thank God for Convoy!”

Since she first participated in Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program, Elizabeth’s focus changed as her immediate needs were met. Now, she shares hope with others. Next, she wants to make sure that those around her also have enough to feed their families.

Elizabeth hopes that others are encouraged by her story.

“With God, everything is possible,” she said.

Because of your support, Elizabeth, those around her, and others around the world are receiving hope. Thank you for changing her story.

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Women's Empowerment

Lela’s Dreams Persist Despite Drought & Pandemic

“The cycle of drought in Kenya has been getting tighter and tighter through the years,” said Chris Dudley, Convoy of Hope’s Stabilization & Humanitarian Intervention Director.

Droughts are not uncommon in Kenya, but women like Lela* remember a time when they only occurred every decade or two.

“Our villages are prone to conflict that are caused by lack of resources,” Lela said. 

The stress of the current drought in Kenya combined with the pandemic made Lela’s dreams seem out of reach. “I had no business training as I have never gone to school and [had] no capital to start my business,” she said.

After she joined Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program in Kenya, Lela soon realized that her dreams of a better life were more achievable than she thought. Through the program, she learned how to breed and herd goats, how to manage her finances, and how to define her own self-worth.

“It has opened my eyes on what women can do. My life and family life has changed. We have better meals on a daily basis,” she said.

Lela’s venture has since grown exponentially. She now does business as far away as Ethiopia and can provide well for her family. Her son also recently graduated high school and is expanding his career prospects. 

“Anyone can change and have hope and bring food on the table,” Lela said.

Because of your support, women around the world are seizing new opportunities and creating lives full of hope and confidence. Thank you for changing Lela’s story.

*Name has been changed to protect participants

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Women's Empowerment

Bread and the Battle For Empowerment: Murida’s Story

Murida’s husband left her to raise their four children on her own. Without a source of income, she lost her home, began living in the streets, and resorted to scavenging scraps of food from the trash to feed her family.

She felt hopeless. But then, she joined a Convoy of Hope Women’s Empowerment project in Ethiopia.

This program equips women with financial education, vocational training, cooperative saving groups, and start-up capital that is provided as a gift instead of a loan. Women engage in self-esteem-building activities and are provided with education in basic literacy and numeracy, family health and nutrition, family planning, and the prevention of communicable diseases.

Through Women’s Empowerment, every aspect of a woman’s life is addressed — from personal issues to small-business training. Convoy of Hope also provides ongoing support after a woman starts her business to ensure success.

“Every woman deserves to be empowered, to have strength and dignity, to know she is valuable,” Doree Donaldson, Vice President of Convoy:Women said. “Through this program, the lives of women and their families are being transformed and are receiving hope for a better future. I am excited to be a part of helping my sisters all over the world!” 

Murida was trained in how to cook and sell a local bread called njera. Convoy of Hope also provided her with supplies to start her own business. She worked hard, saved money, and built a house for her family. Her children are so proud of her.

“I feel like a human being now,” said Murida. “It’s like I’ve been reborn.”

Convoy of Hope is privileged to serve many single mothers like Murida. We celebrate with them as they provide a better life for their families.

Thank you for supporting Convoy of Hope as we provide hope to individuals around the world who now have a bright future ahead of them.

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Women's Empowerment