When a mother faces life deserted by her husband, gaining confidence affects the entire family. Mother of three, Marlena Sanchez knows first-hand. ‘I have visited folk in many parts of the world who suffer from war, famine and abject poverty,’ says Siloam Christian Ministries UK Director Richard Norton. ‘Yet the people I came across in Comos, Peru, seem bereft of any joy whatsoever.
‘Many like Marlena come from areas of crippled economy. Yet the barren hillside presents physical and spiritual gloom. Often the men in the family desert their wives and children. To alleviate suffering, in partnership with Childcare Worldwide (CCW), we give immediate relief to families like Marlena’s with survival food packs.’
Yet now an initiative is being launched to give such families the opportunity to generate income. A pushcart with initial provisions enables them to start a small business. Marlena happily works hard to sell food yet still takes care of her children. Significantly, Christian CCW co-workers help these abandoned mothers with simple business ethics and biblical stewardship.
Worldwide supporters enable a pushcart business to start for just £180. Yet this initiative supports self-reliance that gives an entire family a new start.
In spite of having a country of spectacular beauty and rich heritage, the people of Peru remain poor. Social and economic problems result in the majority of Peruvians living in poverty. With such pressures, family breakdown also occurs.
It may begin with families moving in the hope of finding better prospects or husbands who seek employment elsewhere. As Marlies Lange of Childcare Worldwide (CCW) explains. ‘For a while, the men of the families looked for work but when they could not find employment, they were not willing to deal with the situation any longer. So they left their families and started a new life somewhere else.
‘It is always a shock for the women to realise that they have been abandoned and a sad experience for the children to learn that their father will never come back to them. The mothers do what they can to put food on the table, mostly by cleaning other people’s houses or by washing their clothes. However, they earn so little that they have trouble feeding their growing children.’
Before marrying, Yanet Diaz Valero looked forward to a good life with her husband. She knew they would probably always be poor, but as long as they had enough food and the most necessary things in life, she would be content. They were glad when their children were born. But when the fourth one arrived, they began to wonder how they would be able to care for all of them. Her husband took the easy way out and one day abandoned the family.
Left alone to care for their four children, Yanet was desperate. She had to deal with the trauma of being rejected and how to provide for her family. Because of her small children, she couldn’t look for work. And so she had no choice other than depending on what other people gave her. Her difficult situation meant she often suffered from depression.
Explaining what Survival Packs mean to this family, Marlies Lange notes, ‘Before Yanet felt alone in her daily struggle, but now someone has come alongside her and her poor children. What comfort this is!’
Learning biblical stewardship, Marlena happily works hard, with time to care for her children.
Self-reliance gives impoverished Peruvians a new start.
Barren hillsides of Comos, Peru, offer a bleak outlook to struggling families.