Thursday, May 10, 2012

Celebrating the Joy of Motherhood in Cajamarca!

Good Morning DHF Family!
After getting some much needed rest and relaxation, I’m excited to share the highlights of our 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Celebration. Yesterday was a refreshing and very gratifying reminder of why we dedicate so much time and energy into our village banking project here in Cajamarca, Peru. Our women are simply amazing and true testaments of what it means to sacrifice and persevere all in the name of motherhood.
To sum it up in a few words, it was afternoon of pure fun and relaxation. For three hours, more than 215 women from 22 village banks were able to forget about the stresses of raising a family and running a business and simply laugh, play, and spend quality time with their fellow bank members. Women played familiar games such as the egg toss, the balloon run, and  the three legged run. They also enjoyed artistic numbers prepared by kids who attend HopeHouse childcare services on a regular basis. The event culminated with a raffle in which we gifted two large baskets filled with rice, sugar, cooking oil, and other essential food staples. I've included a video of the event so you can see first hand how the events unfolded.

Organizing such an event was a huge challenge and required the help of our two Village Bank Promoters, HopeHouse Assistant, a Multicredit Intern, and yours truly. By the end of the day, we had filled 235 glasses of chicha morada (purple corn refreshment) and prepared 250 sandwiches, 300 appetizers, and 350 alfajores (small cookies filled with manjar blanco or dulce de leche).

HopeHouse Kids dancing a huayno for our moms.
For this blog entry we thought it would be interesting to share the thoughts and opinions of our two Village Bank Promoters, Bertha and Graciela, about the event. Both spend the majority of their day helping our members manage their loans and savings accounts and organizing personalized business consultations when challenges arise. Due to the nature of the work, the two have developed a close working relationship with all of our women.
 Bertha’s Words:
“Today was such an amazing day for me. When I visit the women’s businesses, they often share the hardships of being a mother. Many of our women are single parents with three of four children. In life we always need a moment to forget our problems and simply relax. Today seeing the faces of our women with smiles and laughter made me feel happy and proud to be a part of this incredible project. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms in the United States!”
Graciela’s Words:
In Peru, Mother’s Day is one of our most important holidays. A mother is the heart of a family.  She is responsible for raising the kids, maintaining the household, and often the primary bread winner. Today I was happy to be a part of the event. I had so much fun planning the activities and dancing with the women. I am use to seeing our women hard at work at their businesses and to see them laugh, dance, and play is refreshing. I’m so appreciative that DiscoverHope is helping the women of Cajamarca progress and provide a better future for their children. “
I’d like to end the blog entry thanking all of you for your generous support throughout the year. Our Mother’s Day Celebration would not be possible without you. As you prepare to celebrate the mothers and grandmothers in your life, I hope you also remember the women of Cajamarca who think of all of you on a constant basis.

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