Maria used to live with her family of four in a single room in a rural community in Bolivia. The small space and sharing a bathroom with other families meant little privacy. While Maria longed for her own space to call home, her family’s limited income meant that they were trapped in poverty.
“I was sad. It was very difficult to live like that and I was very worried because this was affecting the development of my children.”
The Journey out of Poverty
Through her church, Maria learned about Five Talents and was invited to join a small group to learn about savings and business development.
“The Parable of the Talents is my favorite and it has changed my life, because it made me feel responsible for all the things that God has put on my hands.”
One of Maria’s talents is weaving. She had sold some of her products in the past, but her business was very limited. She always used to ask her client’s to buy the materials for her before she could start. Over time, Maria began to purchase and stock wool. Now she makes beautiful hand-woven tablecloths and crafts as well as clothing for babies.
The Pathway to Home Ownership
As Maria’s business income increased she was able to save more and access increasing loans from her Five Talents savings group. Eventually, the result was that she could build her own home:
“The savings group helped us to build our house and now we live happier. Savings groups are a blessing because they teach you to manage not only your money but also your time, your gifts, talents and everything that God gives you.”