Program Graduate Returns to Help Community

Program Graduate Returns to Help Community

By: Adele Berg in Peru   |   Posted: August 10, 2006

Nancy Montalvo was once a poor farm girl; now she's a university graduate who helps impoverished mothers by teaching them how to make yogurt for extra income.

Nancy Montalvo is just a farm girl at heart. Growing up in a community just south of Lima, the young girl relished her rural roots and always liked nurturing and caring for animals. But as the youngest of eight children in an impoverished family, her dreams of a career in agricultural sciences seemed too far-fetched.

University Dreams

"When I was about 15 years old I found information in a leaflet from the agricultural university," says Nancy. But she knew her parents were too poor to pay for her tuition. Also Nancy attended a public school that lacked books, tutors and appropriate training, making it almost impossible for her to get into a university.

But thanks to her experience at a Compassion-assisted project and encouragement from her family, Nancy has not only achieved her dreams, but she has also returned to her community to help others.

"Compassion always encouraged me to continue studying and to succeed in whatever I did," says Nancy, 26. "I was always taught that everything is possible with the Lord, that even though the school I attended was quite poor and lack many things, I complemented it by learning many good things at the project."

Determined to Succeed

While attending the Compassion-assisted Jehova Jire (PE-248) Project, Nancy learned to socialize with other children, found out about personal hygiene, and received tutoring, especially in math. Yet once she graduated from high school, she still had to find the money to go to the agricultural university. Her family had no money and often encouraged her to do something else.

"I was determined to become an (agricultural) engineer," she says. "In order to pay for my books and tuition, I got a part-time job. It was quite hard to continue studying and working. But now I am the only one (in my family) that has a university career and the only Christian."

Teaching Others

It took five and half years, but Nancy now has her professional certificate in agricultural engineering. As such, Nancy does preventive work to help animals avoid diseases; she also examines the commodities markets to decide which animals are profitable or productive for farmers. Never forgetting the help Compassion offered her, Nancy spends her summers working at Compassion projects in Peru. In one program, she teaches mothers how to make nutritious and inexpensive yogurt for extra income.

In another, she helps teenagers raise chickens and guinea pigs for future profit-making ventures.

"If the training is successful, I'd like to train the mothers on how to make butter and cheese at home," she says.

Many people told Nancy to strive for a less complicated career. Others told her she was too poor to succeed. But Nancy has proved all things are possible for those who love God.

"I am so grateful to Compassion for having helped me to become a professional," she says. "I have always preached the gospel (to my family). I tell them I have achieved a career because the Lord has helped me and that I will continue achieving many things by faith."

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