Every investment in Harvesting Hope has a ripple effect. Women not only lift themselves and their families out of poverty, but empower themselves in the process, creating hope and opportunity for their community.
In Waspam, on Nicaragua’s North Atlantic Coast, the Harvesting Hope program is transforming the community as women invest in agricultural projects and later on, bakeries, and shops to support their families and the community. Here are a couple of recent success stories from the North Atlantic Coast…
Patricia: I Want My Children to be Able to Finish School
For as long as she can remember, Patricia’s community in Waspam, Nicaragua has been plagued by war, hurricanes, and grinding poverty. She’s always dreamed of improving her life, but she was never even able to finish high school. She had to quit school and go to work to help support her family. She dreamed that her own children would not face a similar fate.
So when Wangky Tangni offered the opportunity for women to participate in business management training, Patricia was one of the first to sign up. After the training, she received four chickens and ongoing instruction about how to care for them and develop a small business selling eggs. She worked hard, and with her savings she was able to open a modest store. She sells bananas and basic necessities like rice and cooking oil. She lends space to other women in the community to store and sell their small harvests of bananas and other crops.
Thanks to this innovative program, Patricia’s children will not have to quit school to work. But Patricia has also used her new economic security to improve the entire community. She volunteers with Wangky Tangni to organize reproductive health trainings for women and helps promote children’s literacy through a MADRE-supported Children’s Book Corner at the community center.
Bibidilia: Proud to be Contributing to the Community
As a 72-year-old woman and an Indigenous healer and midwife, Bibidilia is an important person in the Waspam community. She is godmother to nearly half of the children and she provides traditional healing services at no charge to many poor people. Although she is a community leader, revered for her skills and dedication, Bibidilia is herself very poor. She works alone, growing beans, rice, and vegetables. Every afternoon, she walks the two hours back to the river, carrying whatever she has harvested – it is only enough to feed herself; there is rarely anything left over to sell.
As Bibidilia began to age and her capacity for farm work diminished, she worried about how she would feed herself. Fortunately, Wangky Tangni’s Helping Hands program provided Bibidilia with the resources and training to start a modest bread-baking venture. The money she earns pays for business supplies with enough left over for food, ensuring that she can continue to live independently and with dignity.
Like Patricia, Bibidilia gives back to the community. Every week, she welcomes more than 40 community members to the Children’s Book Corner where she coordinates play and learning activities for young and old alike. Bibidilia is determined to help build a brighter future for her community’s children.
When we offer women the means to invest in themselves, we are investing in the future. Harvesting Hope enables women to develop successful small income-generating projects and reinvest in their community, sowing the seeds of hope in the midst of hardship.