Soraya is one of the very special women in Finding Hope’s Beading Program.
She joined in July 2014 and has been an essential part of our team ever since. Her beads are gorgeous, thoughtfully and painstakingly made, and show so much potential for being some of the best we have!
Today I sat down with Soraya and had a little conversation with her about money and how she has financially benefited from the program.
She started by excitedly telling me about the house she and her husband are building in a small lot across the street from where they are currently living.
Where they live right now is a tiny little shack made out of sticks and tin roofing with a dirt floor. They are squatters, although the term is used a lot more loosely here. She says she hates the feeling of being unsure whether the owner of the land is going to come one day and tell them to leave.
Soraya and her husband Osman have 3 sweet children who come to our Sunday School – Aymar, Astrid, and Osman Jr. Their little family is so important to them and they want to have a place to raise their kids while feeling safe and secure.
The Beading Program is a great fit for Soraya as she can work on her bracelets while taking care of the home, her kids, and the small pulperia (convenience store) they run out of their house.
As she’s received money for her bracelets, Soraya has been putting aside a small amount every payment to put towards the costs of building the new house. Every time her husband brings home his pay and gives her money to buy food and necessities, she buys what she needs and puts another small amount aside towards the house.
It’s hard to explain the rarity of this to people back at home. We’re used to our savings accounts, 401Ks, budgets, and investments. Most people here are living from check to check, using whatever they’ve earned that month to pay back the debts they’ve accumulated while waiting for the money. There’s no real conception of saving, of budgeting your money, or even of making worthwhile investments.
It was so refreshing to talk with Soraya and see her using the money she makes from the bracelets to invest in her and her family’s future. From what she shared with me, it is apparent that she truly appreciates the value of the money she and her husband work so very hard to earn. Soraya makes smart choices and has sound judgment.
Her husband brought up the idea of taking a loan out at the bank to help with the building costs so they could finish the house sooner. This is a trap so many people fall into here, banks and businesses and retailers all offering such low monthly payments you can’t help but believe you’re getting an amazing deal. Then, when you don’t budget your money right, or you lose your job, or you use the money to take your child to the hospital, the bills started getting higher, the payments pile up, and you lose what you’ve been working so hard to get.
Soraya told her husband that as much as she wanted the house finished as soon as possible, she just couldn’t let the bank own her new house before she got a chance to make a life in it.
“Day by day we’re struggling to build this house, but it’s all worth it. Once it’s finished it will be completely ours…that’s a feeling we haven’t had yet but we can’t wait to experience!”
I hope this is an inspiration to you as you support me, my ministry…when you buy a bracelet and see the picture of the woman who lovingly crafted your piece…
Lives are being changed! The future is becoming brighter for so many of the women and their beautiful, growing families.
I am so grateful to every single kind heart who has shown interest in Finding Hope’s ministry and believes in the work we are doing here in El Porvenir.
Please consider contributing to the last $600 we need to finish a campaign to build a roof over the Beading Workshop in the Women and Children’s Center. If you support financially, please share the campaign with your friends and family! Thanks in advance!