From Malnutrition to a Successful Business

Six-year-old Rosita Elizabeth and her family suffered from severe malnutrition. The family had moved away from a small Peruvian city in the Amazon jungle. 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.

Rosita’s stepfather, Roberto, got his first loan from ECLOF Peru in the amount of $170. 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. Photo: ©

ECLOF International aims to relieve poverty and restore human dignity through providing microfinancial services. Their support offers vulnerable and excluded people and groups access to capital resources that enable them to build sustainable livelihoods. Microfinance can open up a path from vulnerability to self-reliance and stability.

The United Church of Christ through One Great Hour of Sharing partners with ECLOF International, and is proud of the mission made possible because of the offering.

Categories: OGHS Stories

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