Paola (right) helps two community members educate other women on prenatal health.

Bolivian Sponsored Child Grows Up to Join FH Staff


Paola Flores is an employee of Food for the Hungry (FH) in Bolivia, where she works with staff and children to train, educate and inspire. But she wasn’t always on this side of the story, as a child, she was living in poverty herself.

Living outside of Sucre presented many obstacles for Paola and her family. With rampant issues of abandonment, violence and substance abuse, her community was a challenging place to grow up. Poor familial relationships compounded by financial struggles tore her family apart. The future did not look bright for young Paola.

Then, in 2003, when she was 12 years old, FH began working in her community. Right away Paola was enrolled in child sponsorship and this would be the one thing that would change her life forever.

Sponsorship paved the way for Paola to join other FH programming. She received training in leadership and entrepreneurship. This included business training that enabled her to open a bakery with four other young girls from the program. They baked cakes and other pastries to sell, all while they were going to school. This taught Paola that she was able to innovate, work, earn money and succeed. It gave her the experience and confidence to propel her into a brighter future.

“FH, through the support of the worker in charge of my neighborhood, encouraged me and taught me biblical principles,” Paola said. “I cannot forget that men and women are able to change their story.”

After she finished high school, she became the first person in her family to attend college! Since then, she has inspired two of her sisters to attend college as well and both of her parents to find work.

Paola says she praises the Lord for putting people in her life to help her achieve the full goodness of His plan. Many times she felt like surrendering to life’s difficulties, but the Lord strengthened her to be an example in her family and community.

Now, she can also be an example to another community. She kept in touch with her FH mentor all throughout college. Then, God opened the door for her to come work for FH in a different rural area. She uses her testimony to help others transform their lives, her education to help meet their needs, and her experience to help improve their relationships.

Her job is so important to her, because she knows how powerful the programming can be. FH changed her life and now she wants to pass that transformation on.

“I thank the Lord for the FH workers, the church and the other people who saw a future in me,” Paola said.

This is the kind of difference sponsorship can make and this is why FH works in the hardest places: to truly break the cycle of poverty. Praise God!

Paola helps a young girl write a letter to her sponsor.

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