It is incredible to see what poor families can accomplish when you give them a hand up, not a handout. One way this is accomplished is by generously equipping them with the resources and education they need to earn a living through their own small businesses. By providing families with farm animals, agricultural support or small loans, Cross Catholic Outreach benefactors help them discover their potential and achieve their goals. Our economic development programs have proven to significantly raise participants’ standard of living, while also increasing their sense of dignity and self-respect. Many participants are single mothers who have struggled to be both the primary caretaker and breadwinner for their children, and their eyes light up as they tell you how they are putting food on the table and affording medicine, clothes and school fees.
In fiscal year 2020, you helped us continue this transformative work. For example, we partnered with the Brothers of Good Works in Ethiopia to lift destitute women out of prostitution and a life of begging by equipping them with training, mentorship, supplies and supervision to start small businesses. And in Nicaragua, we provided farmers with pigs and the resources needed to raise them for sale in the country’s high demand pork market.