by Kelli Ross
Before Five Talents helped, Rosita and her family suffered from severe malnutrition. Six-year-old Rosita Elizabeth and her family had moved from a small Peruvian city in the Amazon jungle. And her parents searched in vain for odd jobs – just to survive in Lima.
Rosita’s mother (Maria) tells the story of the family going to bed many nights with empty stomachs. “We would get meals at a community food kitchen but suffered from food poisoning several times,” Maria said.
This forced Rosita’s parents to risk sickness or choose hunger for their family.
In June, Rosita’s stepfather, Roberto, received his first loan of $170 from ECLOF-Peru. He invested the money in the family’s handicraft business – making necklaces, bracelets and earrings from beads made from seeds from the Amazon. Roberto and Maria are using the skills they brought with them to Lima!
The business is generating a monthly income of $195, and with this money, they have purchased two machines in order to meet increased demand for their Amazon bead jewelry.
Now, Rosita smiles as she talks about some of her favorite things: mathematics, playing with dolls, eating arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) and her mom and stepdad’s handicraft business!
“Thanks to God, we have improved our business, we do not beg for food anymore, and my mother can now buy food to cook in our house,” Rosita said.
At age 2, Rosita was battling malnutrition and sickness. Four years later, she dreams of becoming an accountant and working in the family business.
Established in 1999, Five Talents International has provided funding for business training and thousands of loans, ranging from $50 to $300, in 15 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Each loan finances a microbusiness that, in turn, supports up to six other people. A majority of the loan recipients are women.
Five Talents’ ongoing work is supported by a staff based in Vienna, Va., an office in London, England, and a program office in Kampala, Uganda. Hundreds of volunteers across the United States and United Kingdom participate in the ministry. For more information and to donate, visit www.fivetalents.org.