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A Young Woman’s Journey to Resilience in Peru

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WRITTEN BY Abby Ryckman

Through Strengthen Communities, Food for the Hungry (FH) works to strengthen both communities as a whole and the individuals who form them. FH partners with local leaders and families within the communities to create solutions to overcome their biggest challenges. With the help of donors, FH staff partners with community members to address the root causes of poverty, not just the symptoms, seeking to restore broken relationships. For Zunilda, a 26-year-old woman living in Peru, her community’s improved relationships and resources made all the difference for her and her entire community.

Zunilda’s Life Before FH

Before Zunilda was involved with FH, she was a single teenage mom who wanted to continue her education. She didn’t have her family’s support, though. They urged her to start working instead of pursuing more education. Her lack of education made it difficult to get a job she enjoyed, though. These unfortunate circumstances led to her feeling discouraged.

“I felt down in the dumps. Since I was a young and single mother, I thought I would not be able to achieve my goals,” she shares.

Zunilda worked hard, raising her two children, helping in her family’s store during the week, and working as a bus fare collector on the weekends.

Zunilda’s Journey With Her Community

But a few years later, Zunilda became involved with FH. On top of her already busy life, she immediately started taking cashier training classes FH offered in her community to improve her situation. She, alongside other community members, started a soft skills course and learned valuable interpersonal skills that helped her thrive in her customer service jobs.

Zunilda with her certificate of completion
Zunilda with her certificate of completion.

“I remember before when clients came in a bad mood I didn’t know how to respond, we clashed. But then thanks to the project’s social-emotional skills workshops. I was able to improve my confidence, patience, and customer treatment,” she shares.

Zunilda continued taking courses with FH and her fellow community members. She increased her income with the new skills she learned. She also joined a savings group to learn how to manage her income which set her and her children up for success.

“I would advise my neighbors to join and to look for opportunities to prosper because they do exist,” she says.

Zunilda is still working hard and dreams for the future. She wants to be an entrepreneur someday soon. “Thanks to FH Peru now I feel that I have more confidence that I can do things on my own. Now I am very persevering. I like to be like this, and I want to achieve all my goals, she shares.

This is Strengthen Communities

When you support Strengthening Communities, you support passionate, determined people like Zunilda to build sustainable resilience to flourish and reach their God-given potential.

Zunilda with a FH Peru team member.
Zunilda with a FH Peru team member.


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