FFTP, Minuto de Dios Committed to Lifting Families From Extreme Poverty: Charity Hosts New Executive Director of Minuto de Dios
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 14, 2021) The new executive director of Minuto de Dios visited Food For The Poor on Monday and met with its leadership to talk about how the two organizations can work together to lift families out of extreme poverty.
FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said the charity, with the help of partner Minuto de Dios, is moving from not just building something but also providing the training and development that goes with the gift, whether it’s a house or the tools for agriculture.
“This is something for which Minuto de Dios has a deep capability,” Raine said.
Fr. Mario Polo said strengthening the social infrastructure can allow people who receive help to stand on their own and have dignity as sons and daughters of God.
“That leads to strengthening many people,” Fr. Polo said. “Food For The Poor has been a great help.”
Earlier this year, the first 20 homes of Palma Real were inaugurated in Granada, about three hours from the Colombian capital of Bogotá, part of the first joint sustainable community development built by FFTP donors and Minuto de Dios.
An additional 20 homes are expected to be completed this summer with 20 more planned soon after that.
The centerpiece of the project is a community development center that will serve as a hub where families who receive the homes – plus potentially hundreds of others in the surrounding area – will receive education, training and the tools to help them flourish.
“The idea is to organize this community to be productive, so they can grow as a community and have a dignified life,” Fr. Polo said.
FFTP began serving in Colombia in 2014. Since 2019, the charity has partnered with Minuto de Dios to bring relief to families, including tens of thousands of Venezuelan migrants who have fled to escape shortages of food, water and medicine.
In the past year, 337 Venezuelan migrants have blossomed into entrepreneurs with the support of seed capital and training provided by FFTP donors through Minuto de Dios to start their own businesses, ranging from repairing bikes to bakeries to sewing clothes and home textiles.
In the past year, the charity sent multiple containers of goods to Colombia to help families reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic’s disastrous effects on public health and the economy, with much of that aid distributed by Minuto de Dios.
FFTP donors also provided food, water and other critically needed supplies through Minuto de Dios to help more than 56,000 people hurt by Hurricane Iota last November, which devastated the Colombian islands off the coast of Nicaragua and left many islanders with nothing.
In November, FFTP received one of Minuto de Dios’ highest honors at the organization’s annual Banquet of the Million in Colombia.
The Rafael García Herreros Order of Social Merit, named after Minuto de Dios’ beloved founder, was presented to the charity.
Raine said FFTP intends to be a learning organization that is not afraid to take on big ideas.
“That means listening to people who are closest to the problem,” Raine said. “They can teach us how to think about those problems and to join with us in designing appropriate solutions. It’s OK to think big and to have big ideas because we know that so many people need us to think and act on their behalf. We are committed to our partnership and we look forward to what’s possible in the future.”
In this video, Fr. Polo talks about the importance of the work FFTP and Minuto de Dios are doing together: https://youtu.be/550CIq5e_E0
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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