HONDURAS – In the village of Rio Grande, high in the mountains of Honduras, farming is the primary source of food and income. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough jobs to go around, so women like Irma compete with men to get work in the fields, and often face discrimination. Many days, Irma found herself turned away without a job.
Irma dreamed of being able to earn her living by weaving the traditional fabrics with colorful patterns and elaborate designs that are part of her native Lenca culture. She and several other young women from Rio Grande pooled their resources to start a business, but the fund just weren’t enough. Without the tools, training, and opportunity, Irma thought her dream would never come true.
During a visit to their village, Operation Blessing staff met these hardworking young women. Seeing Irma’s determination, they knew OBI’s faithful partners could help Irma and the other women follow their dreams and provide for themselves.
Soon, Irma and seven other women from her community were enrolled in Operation Blessing’s Lu Copi Copi livelihood skills training program, an appropriate name for a program bringing new life since it means “Land of Butterflies” in their native dialect. Thanks to OBI supporters, an expert in Lenca fabrics arrived to teach the women how to weave the brightly colored cloth that Irma loves so much. In addition, the women learned how to make purses, suitcases, pencil cases, and other items from the fabric.
After their training, Operation Blessing partners provided Irma and her friends with the special looms they would need to weave the Lenca fabric. Not only that, the women received all the other materials they would need to get their business going, including yarn, scissors, measuring tape, sewing machines, and more.
With their new training and tools, Irma and the other women formed a collective to mutually support each other in the new business. They each make and sell their own products, but they reinvest a portion of each sale back into the co-op to continue buying the raw materials they all need.
Now, Irma no longer has to compete with men for difficult work in the local fields; instead she is living her dream and her income has improved by almost 70 percent! It’s only through the faithful support of partners like you that Operation Blessing can make dreams come true for women like Irma. Thank you for your generosity!
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