Orfelinda Martinez is a very special employee of SewHope. Orfe is married to Ismael and they have four children: Hanssel, Jessi, Franklin and Anita. Besides being a wife and mother, Orfe works side-by-side with Ismael in the villages where SewHope ministers. Orfe has also established a Youth Group. This group currently has about 35 members, ages 5 to 17, boys and girls. Generally, Orfe meets with the whole group 2 or 3 times per week. Lately, the entire group has been working on the gardening project in Sanat Ana. The kite project noted in an earlier blog was another creative endeavor of the group.
Seeing a special need among the young girls ages 12 to 17, Orfe meets with them separately at additional times. The group is called Luz de Esperanza. Recently, under Orfe's guidance, the group selected 6 leaders who are featured below.
Rosselyn, age 14, is the president of Luz de Esperanza. Rosselyn would like to study to be a teacher. Currently, Rosselyn is in the second (of three) levels in the school called Básico Cooperativa.
Marina, age 17, is the vice president of Luz de Esperanza. Marina would like to study to be a doctor. Currently, Marian is in the second level in the school called Nacional El Vocación Básico.
Erika, age 15, is the secretary of Luz de Esperanza. Erika would like to study Business Administration. Currently, Erika is in the third level of the school called Básico Cooperativa.
Flor, age 15, is the treasurer of Luz de Esperanza. Flor would like to study to be a doctor. Currently, Flor is in the third level of the school called Básico Cooperativa.
Aleyda, age 14, is the first member at large of Luz de Esperanza. Aleyda would like to study to be a nurse. Currently, Aleyda is in the second level of the school called Básico Cooperativa.
Andrea, age 13, is the second member at large of Luz de Esperanza. Andrea would like to study to be a licensed social worker. Currently, Andrea is in the second level of the school called Nacional El Vocación Básico.
I have had the privilege of watching these young women in action. I say watching because always there is great initiative from them. They are my teachers in this new world of Guatemala. They have helped with children and cooking and laundry and cleaning and shopping and gardening since they were small. Each young lady is charming and friendly. They work as a team and take turns naturally. I can see the leaders of tomorrow among them. Below are some pictures that show them in action.
Many other young ladies are part of Luz de Esperanza and contribute just as much. These young ladies participate willingly in every aspect of home and village life. And the group keeps growing. Just yesterday a mother approached Orfe as the group worked on sewing projects on the porch of the clinic in Santa Ana. She wanted to know if her three daughers could join the group.
We are very familiar with the understanding that the women are most likely to welcome change for the good of the family and the community. It is young women like these who will bring changes in sanitation, use of clean water, gardening and health. Seven of the eight Millennium Development Goals focus on women for this very reason. (Read the book Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis for some insight on the MDGs).
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012