When single mother Laura was no longer able to sell socks on the street as a result of quarantine restrictions, there was nothing she could do to feed her two sons. As the days passed, their situation in El Salvador became increasingly desperate.
“Since quarantine restrictions started in March, our families have been strongly affected because more than 40% of our parents are dedicated to informal jobs or being street vendors,” says Carmen, director at the Compassion center Laura’s children attend. “They have to quarantine themselves at home asking, 'How are we going to survive?'”
Laura was unable to pay her family’s utility bills, and she had no idea how she was even going to buy her children food. “With the quarantine restrictions, I was emotional, and economically terribly affected,” she says. “I felt scared of the future.”
Amid the crisis, Compassion's church partner came up with a sweet solution. In addition to providing the vulnerable family with groceries twice per month, center staff trained Laura to start her own business making and selling chocolate from home and gave her the capital she needed to get started.
In just a couple of months, she is earning more than she used to before the pandemic.
“With my income, I can buy nutritious food to complete a healthy diet for my family,” says Laura. “Now we can have some vegetables, eat chicken, meat, and provide soy milk for [my son] Miguel, who is lactose intolerant.
“I am filled with thankfulness for the donors that support these funds because their support means a complete change of life for my family," she adds. "It’s something that I am never going to forget because it is marvelous.”