Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mari Cruz has a dream ...

Mari Cruz was inspired when she visited the Social Centre in San Antonio Palopo last year, and had the idea to bring the same model to her community. Here is her story:
Hello, my name is Mari Cruz Arenales, an indigenous woman; I like to help the women in my small town, La Cruz San Lucas Toliman. For the last two years I have been a volunteer leader teaching health and social awareness classes to mothers. I present educational talks to the women in my sector of the town. They are very poor and live in small shacks in the coffee plantation. I help to measure and weigh the children and examine their nutritional health. All my work is volunteer. On Sunday in the Central Market I sell small items in order to obtain sufficient money to support my young daughter.

When Jacqueline came two years ago, she brought new life and hope for me, and my life has changed. Her group is very special and has helped for the last two years in projects with energy efficient stoves and work that benefits my community. The classes in health and nutrition and the smoke-free stoves have prevented respiratory illnesses and eye infections and brought better health. I am very comfortable to be able to help her, my leader, and to change the lives of the poor of my neighbourhood.

Also I have a grand dream ... I would like to start a centre of social work for the women here as their leader. I would like all of the women of the world to be able to live with gratitude. I thank Jacqueline for helping me to realize my dream for now and the future. I want to give friendship and many thanks to the group for the donations of 20 stoves this year and 20 stoves in 2010.

I am 30 years old with one child. I am Mari Cruz Arenales.

Jacqueline translated Mari Cruz's story.

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