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Stories from the Field

Young Store Owner in Honduras is an Inspiration to Her Community

Janae C Author
By Janae Curtain on June 4, 2019

At the young age of 19, Brenda becomes the owner of a stationery store in her home country after being selected as the winner of the USAID Microenterprise Program. Despite her dedication to her job as an entrepreneur, she spends most of her days uplifting her family and residents in Honduras who face a lack of food, education and proper personal care.

Growing up in Colonia las Ayestes, Honduras, Brenda lives with her mother and five younger brothers. Like most of the people living in this impoverished area, her family faces many challenges, including a high rate of unemployment. To help her family economically, Brenda makes tortillas daily and sells them with her mother in the local markets. Although her entrepreneurial spirit helped, Brenda and her family were still unable to eat food with nutritional value.Brenda and her family began to attend the outreach program in the neighborhood via Parroquia María Auxiliadora, an organization that receives Rise Against Hunger meals through our partner, Salesians Missions. The center is located in an impoverished area surrounded by 27 communities whose residents struggle to access nutritional food. Through this program, people not only receive daily meals but support for education, trainings for work, life skills, sports arts and integral training. At the community center, they strive to make the people in the community feel like it’s a place they can call home.

Guido Alejandro, the program director, explains how providing meals have changed the lives of the people in this community. Since the program began, he’s noticed a shift in social care and health services in the surrounding area. He shares, “Rise Against Hunger meals have deepened our work given the variety of programs we have, which the food supports by supplying energy and the people can focus on their education, rather than trying to find their next meal.”

After attending the outreach center for some time and realizing the difference the meals were making for her family, Brenda became a volunteer at Las Ayestas. Through her participation in the program and her willingness to help others, she also found her passion for business. Her winning micro-enterprise project funded by USAID has encouraged her to not only help provide for her family financially, but also to be a role model for others.

Deysi Margarita, a program coordinator at the center, expresses how she watched Brenda shine a light on others and continue to be a “constant dreamer with many plans for the future” as she works to improve the lives of those around her.

Now working as a volunteer and operating her own business, Brenda is dedicated to helping the people in her community. With the help and support of the program, she was able to graduate from high school. Having educational and work opportunities to break the cycle of poverty is what inspires Brenda to push forward. Her hope is to attend college one day and to pass the torch to her younger brothers so that they can soon follow their dreams, too.

“My goal is to graduate from college and improve the quality of my life and those around me,” she says.