Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.
Even though we celebrate Labour Day in September here in Canada, many other countries celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1, including many of the countries where we work! May 1 also marks the Catholic feast day of St. Joseph the Worker. In honour of these two upcoming occasions, this week, we’re shining a spotlight on workers.
Working during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a monumental challenge all over the world, especially for families at our sites who face barriers on the best of days. Every day, we’re inspired by the brave and creative individuals we work with who are innovating and adapting their livelihoods to provide for their families. Our top 5 “family entrepreneur” photos highlight just a few ways that families have started new businesses or persevered in their ventures this past year.
#5: A convenient container
Thanks to kind donors through our gift catalogue, The Njiru Stars group of entrepreneurs from our Nairobi site in Kenya received a shipping container for their business hub. They have kitted out the space to be a convenience store, produce stand, barber shop, snack bar, welding shop and vegetable garden!
The young entrepreneurs are thrilled to be business owners. Their enterprises have meant steady work during widespread unemployment due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Owning the container has protected them from the stress of unpaid rents, and they are able to continue supporting their families!
#4: Exceeding eggs-pectations
Doña Rosalía and her family live near our Guadalupe site in Bolivia. Her husband was in a terrible car accident a few years ago, and is unable to work due to his injuries, leaving Rosalía to earn income for her family. The economic effects of the pandemic shutdown hit her and her community hard, and Rosalía lost her job.
Through our site and thoughtful Chalice donors, Rosalía and 34 other families received the gift of a small business set up just when they most needed it. Rosalía received 10 laying hens she can breed to sell chicks and eggs. “My chickens are excited to see us at the end of the day like our dogs,” she laughs. “With the sale of eggs I will start saving for my children’s studies.”
#3: Supplying the suds
The St. Michael’s Family Circle, comprised of parents from our Bulacan site in the Phillipines, was gifted with the start-up materials to begin a laundry detergent business of their own! When COVID-19 pandemic restrictions began, their sales were briefly interrupted. But laundry still needed to get done, so business quickly resumed with safety measures in place.
The group is now looking to move into the popular online space and are thinking of diversifying their product line to include the sale of fabric softener or dishwashing soap!
#2: From carving to crew cuts
Jesús lives with his parents and four siblings near our CMVAIL site in Paraguay. He and his family are members of an indigenous group who are known for their wooden carvings, which families craft and sell for their income. Sadly, pandemic restrictions made it too difficult to earn enough to support the young family on the carving income alone.
Fortunately, Jesús’ generous sponsor sent him special money for his birthday. With the extra money, the family decided to buy hair cutting tools so they could start a business. The Sisters who run our sponsor site were thrilled to hear that Jesús and his family had taken this initiative!
Our Ghanaian sponsor sites work to raise the economic and social status of women by helping them become entrepreneurs. Three groups of 20 women take turns using a soap-production facility that was built with the help of kind Chalice supporters.
The women make three varieties of soap, which are such in high-demand in rural northern Ghana, they can hardly keep up! Traders come far away for their products, so the women make soap weekly and sell it daily to meet the demands of the market.