No one works harder than a mother with a starving child. The Covid-19 virus is affecting women differently than men and that is particularly true of women in the developing world whose primary role is to provide and care for their family.
THE SACRIFICE OF LOVE
What does love look like for the widowed mothers in rural communities? It means waking up before dawn to walk an average of 20 minutes for water, return home carrying a 35 to 50 lb water container, gathering sticks for fire to cook a simple breakfast, awakening her children to offer them a handful of food and sending them off to school. That is IF she can afford to pay for her children’s school uniforms and textbooks. If not, then her children join her to scrounge through the community looking for daily labor. Daily labor typically means carrying dirt, picking up rocks out of a field, or other similar tasks. At the end of the day if she and her children have earned $1 USD it has been a good day. If she can’t find the work, the family doesn’t eat the following day.
LOVE CAN BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY
Petros Network – Women launched the TESFA Project (tesfa means hope in Amharic) as a Women’s Empowerment Program to provide education, microgrants, food and medical support for women desiring to break their families out of the cycle of chronic poverty. Sponsored women, typically widowed mothers, are offered emergency relief to provide initial support for their families, followed by education and training on business and life skills, and a small microgrant. Women are mentored in the program for 3 years and empowered to create a better future.
HEAR ASKANECH'S STORY
“I am 41 years old and a mother of eight children, two boys and six girls. My husband died nine years ago because he was sick and did not have access to any healthcare that could help him. After he died, I worked as a housemaid and sometimes worked daily labor. Unfortunately, the money I made was not enough, so I gave priority to rent and food. In order to pay for school and materials I begged. I was only able to send them to school because the school allowed my children to attend without uniforms. Even though they were different from their friends, they were in school.”
"LOVE HAS CHANGED MY LIFE"
“When I joined Petros Network’s Women’s Empowerment Program, I believe God answered my prayer. I took the training and mentoring very eagerly and took charge of my life and the life of my family. I started selling charcoal and potatoes. Over time I became familiar with the market and working hard. Our lives slowly began to change! Now I can afford to pay my house rent, provide proper food for my family three times a day, and can pay for all the necessary materials my children need for school, including the uniforms. This is a miracle made possible because of God’s love extended to me. I am so happy in what I am doing now. I hope I will continue to grow further. “
"PRAY I CONTINUE TO GROW"
“Please pray that God gives me more wisdom as I work hard to change the lives of my family more than ever. I am willing to work hard to show them God’s love and my love too. Someday, I desire to own my own house. Please pray I can accomplish this great dream. Finally, pray for me and my family’s spiritual life progress.”
"BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN GIVEN HOPE I HAVE HOPE"
“I had no success, but you reached out and love changed my life. I would like to thank my supporters, because of you I am able to work and support my family properly. I had no success in my life, but you reached out and helped. Thank you very much! May God Bless you and your family! It is my prayer for you that God covers you and your family in his grace and peace.”