Editors note: Rebecca Swanson Groves is the author of this blog.
How do you connect?
How do you connect with others? Is it over a cup of coffee? Shared stories? A group outing or shared adventures? On my last trip to Colombia, I had to ponder this question while knowing that I hardly spoke or understood any Spanish. I decided to let my story speak for me.
Sharing across barriers
I had the wonderful opportunity to share a part of my story with the women in the Luchadoras en Acción program. A vulnerable part of my story spoke to a particular woman new to the program. Neyis JoHana Mendoza Perez made a connection with what I shared and made a choice to connect with me, even through the language barriers. Taking the time to hand write a letter, Neyis asked our translator to translate the letter to English. Then she sat with me and talked as we cried, hugged, and shared our hearts with one another.
Connection is just one of the fantastic opportunities the Luchadora program offers these women who apply to participate. The eight month long program teaches these women of all ages, lifestyles, and walks of life the skills like self-care, coping techniques, financial management, employment skills, boundaries training, and relationship building. These women learn all these ideas while building relationships with one another. The embrace leaning on each other and supporting one another in the highs and lows of every day life.
The importance of the Luchadora program
The foundation works hard to build and maintain these connections between the United States and Colombia and each woman individually. Every woman is known by name. Each woman has the chance to share her story. The women receive specific care for their personal and family needs. Each woman gets the space needed to grow and flourish through the program. In building the program, Footprints with Hope distributes the donations wisely and is a good steward of funding.
The cost per woman for the Luchadora program is $260. Last year the program accepted 30 women to learn, grow and flourish in their lives. This year the foundation accepted 37 women. The foundation did not make the decision lightly to accept more women.
Growth of the program
The Foundation, acting upon the growth and success of the program, made the leap to trust that through intentional stewardship, careful practices, and an optimistic outlook, the seven additional women will find the sponsorship. With that hope comes the anticipated graduation of all 37 women from the program in October.
Sponsoring a woman through the foundation allows that woman to succeed and make a future for herself and her family in Colombia. A one-time or recurring donation can be made here. YOU can become a part of carrying hope to Colombia and the women one step at a time!
Through the thoughtful and and faithful sponsors to Footprints with Hope, the work of the foundation can continue to make Colombia a better place for all!