I found Carla, a 24-year-old mother of two, in the courtyard of her house. With a smile on her face, she told me that she’s expecting her third child. I was glad to see her happy. Until recently, her smile was hidden.
Carla had a rough childhood. Her parents died when she was young, so she lived with her grandparents, who couldn’t give her everything she needed. When she was 14, she met René, a music teacher 20 years older than her. Despite the age difference, they decided to live together.
After several years, René was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and their lifestyle changed completely. Carla became the sole provider for their family. She sold vegetables on the street, did laundry for others, and found other odd jobs to earn money. She was desperate and didn’t know what to do.
“Every day I prayed to the Lord for a miracle to all my problems until you came and motivated us to participate in the project of the guinea pigs and chickens,” she said to me.
In Bolivia, Samaritan’s Purse has a project aimed at improving the dignity of women through their productive capacities. We provide them with chickens and guinea pigs and train them to manage the resources from these animals. The women are able to create their own small businesses and provide for their families.
Carla is happy with the results from the project. The chickens are producing eggs regularly, and her two sons have fresh eggs every day. They are able to eat the guinea pigs, a delicacy in much of South America, and sell them.
“Before, we we had no chickens,” said 9-year-old Juan. “My mom used to give us one little egg a week for me and my brother, but now I thank God because we can eat eggs every day. I’m happy because my mom can cook us eggs with rice and corn.”
Today, Carla is able to provide her family with all their necessities. Her husband is also able to help her care for the chickens and guinea pigs since it doesn’t require much physical effort. He expressed his gratitude to me.
“I am extremely grateful to Samaritan’s Purse because we know that you care about us in all aspects, and nobody has helped us in that way before,” he said.