By Celina, mother of two sponsored children in Colombia
My goal has always been to have my own house. That was my biggest dream, but I could never save enough money to buy a home.
When my children joined the program, Elvia, an Unbound staff member, started to talk about mothers groups and how we could develop our skills.
We made a poster with our dreams, and I chose to use a picture of a house. Elvia told us that we can reach our goals as long as we establish clear goals.
After that meeting, I started to think about the first step in reaching my dreams. I started to attend Unbound workshops frequently to gain motivation.
I was unemployed, and we needed to have a bank account with money before we qualified for government-subsidized housing. I had just 50.000 pesos (about $28 US) in my pocket. I asked the bank about the process and learned I needed 60.000 pesos (about $33 US) to open a bank account.
I was not working, so I found a job growing flowers. I saved my money for four years until I finished my work growing flowers.
It wasn’t until I spoke with Elvia that I learned I could start my own business selling products to my neighbors and friends. Unbound supported me and gave me a microwave and two canisters to sell coffee.
I learned to make delicious empanada pies, and I started to sell my empanadas and cups of coffee to my neighbors. That was how I started my own business. I would keep my goal in mind as I saved the money I earned.
When I start to work I do not have a coin in my pocket, but when I come home my pocket is full. Now, I have a little store where I sell food.
After saving money for four years, I had the chance to buy a house. I feel glad because my friends and family said that I could never afford a house, but I worked hard, I built my own business and God helped me.
My husband and I were able to reach our goal by saving our money. We are so thankful for Unbound’s support, like school items and groceries, because we were able to save money to pay for our house.
My children bring me energy to get ahead in life, and sometimes they walk to work with me. I feel their support. Now I can make a better life for my children.
My message for other mothers is to fight for your dreams. God brings us the strength we need to do the impossible.
- How to make empanadas from Colombia
- ‘Movin on up,’ part 2: Colombian mother sends update about first home