CFCA stories

Nicaraguan mothers group works to help others

May 8, 2012

When the Nicaraguan mothers group Mothers Overcoming Obstacles for a Better Future first organized, they decided their first act would involve giving back to someone in their community.

CFCA Nicaraguan mothers group with sponsored children
Nicaraguan mothers group, Mothers Overcoming Obstacles for
a Better Future, with their children.

The mothers had different ideas about what they should accomplish for their first activity. They considered many options, but eventually decided to donate a basket of food items to a young physically disabled boy and his family.

"We gave him a basket full of all kinds of food provisions," said Alba, a 31-year-old mother of two children sponsored through the CFCA Hope for a Family program. "The family was very happy to receive it. They never expected something like this."

The leaders of the mothers group visited with all of the members in order to get approval, and the mothers unanimously agreed it was a great idea. In order to raise enough money to purchase the food basket, they decided to sell tamales door-to-door in their community.

"Working in small groups helps the mothers understand CFCA’s mission," said Ana Martinez, project director for Nicaragua. "They are bringing to life the concept that CFCA sponsorship fosters relationships of mutual support."

The mothers gathered and made about 60 tamales to sell. With the funds they raised, they were able to purchase a food basket full of rice, beans, cooking oil, sugar, soap and other items for the boy and his family.

Beginning a successful future

The CFCA staff in Nicaragua worked diligently to organize and encourage the mothers. Small groups were implemented in Nicaragua at the beginning of 2011.

CFCA sponsored child with mother
CFCA sponsored child, Marvin, with his mother,

Currently, there are 11 mothers groups in Managua, Nicaragua, and each group consists of around 20 members. The project staff plans to initiate additional mothers groups throughout the year.

"These groups help the mothers to better understand the concepts of CFCA," Martinez said. "The small group interaction and community initiatives highlight the Hope for a Family characteristics we seek to promote among the families we work with. It's not just a concept we want them to learn, but something that we want them to apply to their lives for the present and the future."

Many of the women were apprehensive in the beginning but eventually embraced the idea of the mothers groups. The mothers have worked together and are much more comfortable with each other. Being a part of the group has also increased their self-confidence.

"At the beginning I thought it was a great effort made by CFCA staff to organize mothers and have a better communication," Alba said. "This idea [selling tamales to help the boy] was unexpected. Today, as a group, we are united."

Giving inspires an idea

The group’s act of solidarity ignited a charge among the mothers, and they decided to begin cooking and selling tamales to raise money for their group. With the money they raise, they plan to open a small business to earn additional income for their families as well as continue to help others in need.

The group has discussed the idea of opening a chicken farm with the profits they earn from selling tamales. Being a part of the mothers group gives women an opportunity to work together to build a better future for their families. The group plans to continue its service activities through continued efforts to reach out to the community.

"I see a whole different attitude among us mothers," said Daysi, grandmother of a sponsored child. "I see us more positive, encouraged to cook and sell [tamales], and we now have a calendar of activities and we have all agreed to it."

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