In the city of Luque, Paraguay, Diaconia ADP, a partner of Global Aid Network, helped provide hope for Giselle Machado.
For the last 26 years of her life, Giselle has battled with a disability that limits both her body coordination and mobility. Yet, Giselle never lost her smile; nor her will to live a life of dignity. Despite her physical limitations, Giselle put her trust in God to help her through each day. “Every morning I wake up and pray for guidance, and I also ask God to help me sell my products,” shares Giselle.
When Giselle heard about Diaconia through the local nutrition center for children run by a church in her community (which is part of the overall strategy called Transforming Paraguay Together that feeds 20,000 children each week in 350 centers across Paraguay and is also a partner of Global Aid Network), she knew that this was the answer to her prayer. She became excited at the possibility of having her own business.
Not too long after, a Diaconia representative came to her home and told her that she could become part of a group of women in the community that would receive financial literacy training and a micro-loan to help her start her own business.
After going to three training seminars, she became part of “The Victory” community group and received $200 to invest in her cosmetic business.
Unable to go door-to-door to sell her products like most of the woman in her group, Giselle started to sell her products over the phone. “She has a great sales pitch!” says Bernabe (her loan officer), “she now has finished paying off her first loan, and has requested a renewal loan.”
“The people at Diaconia have helped me to use the talents God has given me,” shares Giselle. “They have also provided the money I needed to buy a package of cosmetic supplies from my provider. Now I have many clients who come to my home and who buy from me! There are no words to better describe the help we received then to say that the people at Diaconia have been a real blessing to me and to the Victory Community Group, giving us an opportunity to work and to provide for our needs.”
Today, approximately 400 woman in 34 different communities have been reached by Diaconia; many of them single parents trying to break free from the loan sharks that have kept them bound in poverty. For some of these women, this is the first time someone has actually cared about their futures.
Women are taught not only to become better administrators of their resources and the opportunities they have, they are learning about the love of God and His purpose for their lives.
As a result, hope as well as long-term solutions are being provided to individuals like Giselle, helping them to break through the cycle of poverty.