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Celebrating the Lioness: How Three Mothers Overcame Adversity

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Through Strengthen Communities, we can help end poverty together. Your support helps Food for the Hungry (FH) partner with local leaders and community members to provide those facing the challenges of poverty access to education, healthcare and other life-changing resources that build sustainable resilience. As a result, women, in particular, are emerging as key leaders and providers in their homes as well as instruments of change in their communities.

In this article, we celebrate three mothers who have overcome adversity and have made a life-changing impact in their corners of the world.

Marta – Business Owner and Provider in Ethiopia

Marta is a 36-year-old widow and mother who lives with her three children in the community of Murancho Kutala in Ethiopia. After her husband passed away from chronic illness in 2010, Marta was left destitute and, consequently, excluded from community benefits because she couldn’t afford the fees. To provide for her children, Marta sold sugarcane, bananas, and enset crops, cleaned animal dung, and carried water long distances for wealthy women.

After she became sick from over exhaustion, FH Ethiopia provided Marta with a donkey and a cart. Thanks to donations from generous supporters like you, Marta was also able to receive training in animal husbandry and crop production. Her daughter Temesgen Tena received scholastic support.

Livelihoods - Shebedino Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP)
Temesgen (13 years old) and her brother Zelalem (8 years old) enjoy learning and going to school.

Marta now provides for her children by running a donkey cart business, and she receives transportation orders with her new mobile phone. She has also invested in livestock which have become additional sources of food and income for her family. Once rejected from society due to her circumstances, Marta has regained her social prestige and become an integral community member.

Livelihoods - Shebedino Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP)
Marta is a successful example of FH’s mission to partner with local communities in developing countries to end poverty and help those in need reach their God-given potential.

Marta thanks God for He “swept my tears.” She is grateful for FH’s financial aid and describes the Christian aid organization as “messengers of God sent to help the poor and the helpless.”

Idalina – Community Leader for Health and Parental Care in the Dominican Republic

Idalina is 43 years old and lives in La Guazara in the Dominican Republic with her husband Juan and their three children. Like many others in the community, they make their living through agriculture, primarily raising and harvesting corn, beans, pigeon peas, and onions. However, increasing drought conditions and the lack of means to construct an irrigation system have resulted in lost harvests and destitution for Idalina’s family and other farmers. Local leaders have despaired as community members have left to find work afar.

Infrastructure-Livelihoods - La Guazara-Water Irrigation System Construction
Idalina and her three children standing in front of their house which now has a sanitary unit provided by FH.

However, with your and other partners’ support, FH has introduced an irrigation project, which has brought tremendous hope to the residents of La Guazara. Idalina confirms, “FH has taught us to empower ourselves and to discover all the riches that God gave us. Today we are a much more united community. ”

Idalina is also grateful to FH for providing workshops on parental care. She states, “We parents are instilling values that were not practiced before because we had no one to train us to teach them correctly.”

Today, Idalina is a community leader who is passionate about sharing the knowledge she has gained from FH with other families, especially in health and parental care.

Infrastructure-Livelihoods - La Guazara-Water Irrigation System Construction
Idalina is using the training she received from FH workshops to teach mothers in the community about stress management.

Nurun – Community Savings Leader in Bangladesh

Nurun is a 35-year-old wife and mother of four children living in the Suapur Community in Bangladesh. Nurun’s husband provides for the family with his auto rickshaw transportation business. However, patriarchal dominance confines women like Nurun to traditional roles in the community, which impacts their ability to partake in community matters.

Before the arrival of FH, Nurun lived with constant financial anxiety about the health and provision of her family. The prospect of a better life and increased educational opportunities for her children appeared elusive.

However, FH economic empowerment initiatives such as livestock provision and savings groups have lifted Nurun’s family from poverty. Additionally, FH’s aid has provided her daughter with the opportunity to gain a good education, thereby saving her from the fate of being married off at 18, which is traditional in developing communities. Nurun is also the current legislative leader of her community’s saving group and is teaching others how to save, which contributes to the financial stability of the entire community.

Nurun and her daughter Maria (14 years old) in front of their house. Thanks to FH’s aid, Maria has been spared the fate of childhood marriage that is traditional for young girls in her community.

Through partnerships and your support, Nurun has been able to access opportunities that were formerly inconceivable. “Now, economic empowerment has transformed my role beyond domestic chores. The community is stronger and more interconnected, fostering a sense of unity. Spiritually, FH’s intervention has deepened my connection to God.”

Celebrating All Lionesses

Ezekiel 19:2 states, “What a lioness was your mother among the lions! She lay down among them and reared her cubs.” Stories such as Marta’s, Idalina’s, and Nurun’s demonstrate the lioness’ characteristics of courage, love, and empowerment to serve as mothers, providers, and leaders of change in their communities.

Through your gift to Strengthen Communities or Child Sponsorship, we can continue to help more women and children in developing communities reach their full God-given potential.


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