‘A Stable Life Full of Blessings’ – Welding Workshop Provides Jobs, Hope to Honduran Families
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2022) Before Evelyn worked in a welding shop built by Food For The Poor donors, she had never picked up a sander.
But the 27-year-old single mother was eager to learn so she could provide for herself and her child.
Today, she’s one of 18 employees and the only woman working in a welding shop in Choloma, the largest community development project under way in Honduras.
Workers make bed frames for homes built by Food For The Poor. In 2021, the charity purchased more than 2,000 bed frames as the welding shop’s main client.
The welding shop has been a blessing for families in Choloma, many of whom lost jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic in an economy that was already struggling.
When the shop opened in January 2021, the plan called for just a few employees. But community members were motivated by the prospect of learning a new skill and getting a good paying job, and the shop started with 12 people.
The 18 employees who work there today enjoy incomes that are 23 to 51 percent higher than minimum wage in the area.
Evelyn was in good company when she was hired. Only one other employee knew how to weld.
“When I started, no one from the workshop wanted to take me on as an assistant,” Evelyn said. “I went through a very difficult process. People said that I should not be in this job because as a single mother I had to be taking care of my son and look for another type of job and that I did not have the capacity for this. But those words only motivated me, and yes, I am a woman, but I also come from a working father who taught me to work.”
Jose, the workshop’s leader, said none of the employees knew each other at the start and now feel like family.
Before the welding shop, none of them had regular jobs. Several worked selling scraps to get by, earning less than $42 a month. Now, they are making up to $800 a month.
“We have learned to support each other to take care of ourselves,” Jose said. “All the members of the welding workshop have prospered greatly. We have been able to help our families, improve our homes. We have overcome a lot. We can say that we have a stable life full of blessings.”
With the workshop’s profits, seven more large machines and 18 additional compressors have been purchased, enabling the employees to do even more work and increase their output.
The Choloma Community Development Project has more than 350 homes and more than 1,750 community members. Thanks to the charity’s generous donors, families now have safe, secure homes with access to water and sanitation, eco-stoves, vegetable gardens, water purification units and schools. The welding shop, along with a sewing center, plantain chip factory and bakery are giving residents opportunities to earn an income.
FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said the welding shop is the perfect example of the kind of sustainable development that not only is giving people a beacon of hope, but a new start in life.
“Our aim is to not only help even more families living in poverty, but to lift them up to help them become self-sufficient and support generations to come.”
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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