What would you do with $9? Would you buy yourself a fast food lunch? Perhaps you would find an item at the thrift store for your home? $9 does not go very far for us, does it?
Let me ask another question… Imagine if you only made $9 in one day. Then how would you spend that $9? Or how would you look at money differently? Would you save that money each day? Would you make sure your children were cared for before yourself? What would become the priority for you?
Seeing it Firsthand
On my trip to Colombia in 2019, I was in the city of Cali, and we were discussing the street vendors and the way of life for many people in Colombia. I learned the average person makes only $9 a day in Colombia, and often times that is with a 12 hour work day! Can you imagine $9 a day? Most of us make more than that in one hour. More than a third of the population in Colombia live below the poverty line.
$9 a day equals $45 for a 5 day work week and for one month only equals $180. We make in a day what the average person there makes in one month.
This isn’t to create a picture of feeling sorry for our Colombian friends. I share these facts because learning about their income was another moment to learn about hard work and determination. Learning how their daily work lives function was another driving factor in what we want to do with the foundation.
I’ve met many Colombian friends through my travels. A few I’ve known make less than $9 a day. Some have shared stories of growing up without food or knowing where the next meal would come from. Others have pushed through the difficulties and found a way to make a living which provides for their family. Yet no matter the story, many of the Colombians have the same underlying determination to make the best out of a situation. Not one of them complains about their circumstance.
Each village, each city, has a unique way of life, just like here in the United States. With the foundation, our goal is to help create sustainable ways for women to learn a trade skill, so that they can carry their family into a healthier future. Too many women, through no choice of their own much of the time, have to worry how they will feed their house full of children. Often times, they have to leave the children at home for hours, trying to make a way of life for the family.
Our goal is help women learn a skill and teach them financial management so that they can better care for their families. And, when they can better care for their families, those children will in turn also have a stronger future. The children will have food for their nutrition. It will create the ability to go to school, not having to become another worker in the home to help sustain the ability to live.
Footprints with Hope sets out to teach skills which will make sense in a given location for a woman to bring in a sustainable income. We call it the Luchadora Program. Depending on the location, skills may include a way of life such as: hair cutting, jewelry creating, rug weaving, purse making and more. These skills can become a way of life. The women will gain hope to to continue pressing forward in the way of determination they already have. We simply look to help give them a step up in that direction.
Challenge to the Reader
I challenge you to think about the next time you buy a meal from your favorite fast food location and spend $9 to remember what $9 means to others in the world. That isn’t to guilt you into not purchasing that meal, but rather to think about how far a donation of even $9 can go in the life of a Colombian. I challenge you to give up one of those meals a week and support the work of the foundation so that the women we serve can move forward in their ability to live well. I challenge you to count your blessings.
True, our culture is different from theirs, so $9 is different. However, whether you choose to participate in our efforts or simply read our blogs, I hope that you’ll be inspired to realize how fortunate we are. I hope that you’ll learn a little bit about what my friends face on a daily basis as a challenge. And I hope that you’ll continue learning about the Colombian culture with us through our stories. To read more data on Colombia’s economy, you can visit the world bank site .
$9 a day. What would you do with it?
Photo Credits: Images by Thomas Breher and Carlos Andrés Ruiz Palacio from Pixabay