These photographs of two of our Finding Freedom through Friendship mothers were taken in northern Guatemala. Through the wonders of modern technology, our talented public relations volunteer, Rae House, created this beautiful postcard with the photos, making it captivating and poignantly beautiful.
The reality is this: Euilia is holding her malnourished toddler, Dora, who lives on a diet of locally harvested herbs boiled in water. On a good day, little Dora eats a tortilla.
Melinda (smaller photo), shown with three of her four children, has moved twice in the last few months, trying to find a house she can afford to rent. Her new house doesn't look much better than the bathroom (below) that comes with it. The total number of belongings that were moved with the family; four plastic chairs, several cooking pots and a bag of clothes. Mother's Day is celebrated in Guatemala, but it will not feel like a holiday to these women.
Mothers in Guatemala want no less for their children than American women do. Food, shelter, education, clothing....the same list any mother anywhere expects to be able to supply for those who are dependent on her. The reality in the beauty of the photo above is this: neither of these mothers have the capability to overcome the grinding poverty of their lives without the help of non profits like ours. Social services resources simply are not available in Guatemala.
There are many days when our little program seems so inadequate in the face of the overwhelming need of the women we help. How do you start to bring a woman and her children into economic self-sufficiency when she can't read or write, manage money, raise livestock or feed her children? What do you do first: get the family out of the rain or feed them? Clothe them or educate the children? Purchase a bed so they don't have to sleep on the wet floor, or a table so the children can do homework? There are countless decisions to be made with precious few dollars.
We at Finding Freedom through Friendship believe that every day should be Mother's Day. All mothers, no matter what country they live in, should have her basic needs met so that she in turn can meet the needs of their children. We like to imagine a world of emotionally and physically sound women who nurture children into amazing people who will benefit our world. Until this happens, we will continue working on the needs of "our" moms, one meal, one blanket, one donation at a time.