Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trash to Treasure: AFE Mothers Generate Income and Hope

It is not uncommon for a mother at AFE to get up at dawn and sort through garbage until dusk. In the afternoon she does not oversee her children’s homework or ask how their day went. She leaves the household chores to her family until she arrives bone-tired in the evening with 100 L ($5) in her pocket: enough for dinner for the family’s dinner that evening. Not only does this lifestyle make it hard to involve parents in their children’s education, but it also makes it difficult to reach families for Christ.

Melanie Miller, a missionary-disciple from World Gospel Mission, has started a new business venture to empower AFE’s mothers to generate their own income in positive ways. Three days a week a group of six mothers gather in the upper room of AFE to bead-together works of art, chat about their lives, and receive Christian mentorship from a missionary-mother. They took out a loan to buy the supplies for their necklaces and with their successful it has already been paid back. Each necklace sells for 150 L ($6) and is available in AFE’s store. The small business is run by the women themselves.

Our pioneering, entrepreneur mothers range in ages from 19 to 30.

The best part about the business is that the women are turning trash into treasure. They find the paper for the beads in the dump and turn it into beautiful creations.

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