Gladys could have easily given up – and she admits to having thought about it. She lost her husband, five of her brothers and a stepson from the conflict in Colombia that has been afflicting the country for six decades. She was driven from her home four times and eventually became a refugee in her own country.
But – “Pa’lante pa’ya!” says Gladys: “Life has to go on!”
Today Gladys is the coordinator of a self-help group, made up of women who have lost almost everything to the conflict. “Many of us were driven off our own land, and in many cases our husbands have been killed,” explains Gladys.
The women in the group, including Gladys, had to pick up and start over. Many ended up in slum-like communities – without a means to sustain themselves and with little hope for the future – until they became organized.
The women formed a group and received a grant from The Lutheran World Federation, supported by your gifts to ELCA World Hunger. Now, thanks to your support, the women grow organic vegetables and raise chickens.
“We have clean, healthy food for our families and recently we have had a bit extra that we can sell,” stated Gladys. She is proud of the group’s success. “But it’s not just about producing food. We organize, help ourselves and advocate to improve the situation for women in our society.”
Colombia has the second highest number of refugees in the world. The Lutheran World Federation provides service and care for 1.2 million of the world’s refugees. Your gifts to ELCA World Hunger help make this work possible – providing opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t have it.
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Photo credit: The Lutheran World Federation