Tag: livelihood

Aug 28 2015

Providing for themselves gives moms confidence

From left: Gregoria, Amparo, Magda and Teresa are mothers working together to make shampoo and detergent.

From left: Gregoria, Amparo, Magda and Teresa are mothers working together to make shampoo and detergent.

It all started with a workshop at Unbound.

That’s what Teresa, a mother from Guatemala said about the shampoo and detergent business she created with three other mothers from her community. It also got started thanks to the determination of these mothers to provide for their families.
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Maria finds discarded items that can be fixed and resold to support her family.
Jul 3 2015

Mom recycles for a better future

The old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” rings true for Maria’s family.

She and the other six members of her family work hard reclaiming items from the streets of their Mexican neighborhood.

“First, I am a mother. This is my first and most important job,” Maria said. “I enjoy doing overtime mother’s work, even if I don’t get paid for it,” she laughed.

But in order to pay the bills, Maria has a very different job — she is a pepenadora or one who searches through trash for a living.

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Jolly, a member of the fathers group in Unbound’s Cardona program, cuts water hyacinth stalks to be made into sandals and other wearable goods. Once a fisherman, Jolly has found a new source of income in the water hyacinth initiative.
Jul 1 2015

A green initiative

Water hyacinths, a persistent pest, clog waterways, kill fish and rob sunlight from native aquatic plants in lakes all over the world.

A community in the Cardona area of the Philippines, just outside Manila, experienced such an infestation. In 2012, when Charito L. and her family joined the Unbound program, her husband wasn’t able to continue his job fishing because of the plant. It became increasingly difficult to support their family.

“My source of income way back then was selling fishes but, because of the huge number of water hyacinths in the lake, the fishes died out,” she said.

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From left: Dora, Ana, Maria S., Maria Eva and Maria Y. are part of a mothers group through Unbound in Guatemala.
Apr 8 2015

Creating more choices for mothers in Guatemala

Looking at this photo, you might see a work of art. A sculpture carefully crafted, textured and painted to convey a new meaning for each new angle it’s viewed from. Or maybe, and more accurately, you see a mushroom farm.

For Guatemalan mother Ana, this mound of chopped corncobs, corn husks and mushroom cultures represents another step toward economic self-sufficiency.

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Alicia and her family
Feb 16 2015

Mexican mother’s success story and hojaldras [pastry] recipe

Mexican family

From left: Jorge, Cesar, Julio and Alicia stand next to the family’s food cart.

Life has not been easy for Alicia. Her father passed away when she was 7 years old, leaving her mother to raise four children. Within a year of her father’s death, Alicia and her 10-year-old brother entered the workforce to help support their two younger siblings.

“Life was hard for me,” Alicia shared. “I did not have time to be a child.”

Alicia grew up cleaning homes instead of attending school, and started her adult life with a very limited set of skills. Her husband, Julio, had a similar upbringing, and though he worked hard, found it difficult to provide for his family as a seasonal worker.

“Life was difficult because we did not have jobs, we didn’t even have the knowledge or skill to start a business,” Alicia said of herself and her husband.

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Jun 1 2012

How bank accounts can help empower families in poverty

Did you know that about half of the world’s people ñ more than 2.5 billion adults ñ do not have a bank account?

Jayamma in India withdraws money from her bank account

Jayamma withdraws money from her sponsored child’s bank account in India in this 2011 photo. Her child’s name is Nagalakshmi.

The World Bank arrived at that estimate recently, according to this Bloomberg Businessweek article. Many of these people live in the communities CFCA serves.

Poverty and a lack of required documentation are some reasons why many of these families have never even set foot inside a bank.

“It’s very rare for sponsored friends and their families to have a bank account of their own,” said Jose Rodriguez, CFCA project director for Colombia and Bolivia.

Sponsored children, the aging and their families usually live and work within their countries’ informal economies.

Their income is often seasonal and comes from cash-based, small-scale sources.

Sponsorship and microfinancing

In some countries such as India and Kenya, sponsorship benefits in some projects are distributed through bank accounts to the mothers of sponsored children.

Because these children are under 18, their mothers manage these accounts under the supervision of CFCA staff until the children are of age.

“These bank accounts become tools for families to save and access sponsorship benefits,” Jose said. Read more

Jan 10 2012

Twitter chat: How people make a living worldwide (#cfcachat)

Mothers of CFCA sponsored children in the Philippines give sponsored elderly friends massage therapy

Mothers of sponsored children give sponsored elderly friends massage therapy in a CFCA livelihood program in the Philippines.

Yesterday we conducted a Twitter chat about livelihood programs and different ways that people make a living around the world.

Read the highlights: “How people make a living worldwide” on Storify

We’re grateful for all the participation and engagement during this hour-long chat. If you haven’t had a chance yet to join our Twitter chats, we’d love to see you next time!

May 9 2011

Mothers grow small businesses in the Dominican Republic

This video features a mothers group in our project in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The narrator in the video, Altagracia Flores, is a charismatic social worker in the Santo Domingo project. She and other CFCA staff members work closely with mothers of sponsored children who want to start or improve their livelihood or business.

They can access small loans from the group fund, which consists of the mothersí individual contributions and a CFCA matching amount.

Altagracia shares with us the example of two mothers who have succeeded in improving their small businesses and their families’ living conditions.


Mar 15 2011

Water pump brings dignity to Kenyan farmer

Joel in KenyaMeet Joel, a 58-year-old farmer in Timau, Kenya.

He’s decided to use the money from his sponsorship through CFCA in a new way ñ to install a water pump for his farm.

“I have always loved farming, but it was hectic for me to fetch water from the river each day to water my plants,” he said. “That’s when I decided to save up my sponsorship funds and buy a watering pump that would help me in my farming.”

Read more about Joel.