Friday, July 25, 2008

Using What She Learned in Her “Foam-ative” Years

Poverty has a long list of trophies hanging on its wall…and Laura was determined not to be one of them.

Despite being born into impoverished conditions, Laura, 17, made up her mind to be a winner. It was obvious that education was the key to a better life; the question was, how do you get an education when your family can barely afford to eat?

Laura’s answer came in an unlikely manner.

Because Laura is sponsored through Children International, her mother had the opportunity to attend vocational training offered by the sponsorship program to mothers of sponsored children, teaching them to use “foamy” (foam rubber craft material) to create various forms of art. Laura tagged along to the classes – and there she discovered the key to her dream.

Instead of hanging around in boredom, waiting for her mom to be done so they could go home, Laura listened attentively to the training. In fact, she was so attentive that she mastered the lessons herself.

Now Laura gives classes to other people, decorates for parties and makes other decorations – all out of “foamy.” Her earnings are about $100 per month…a very respectable figure, considering that the average monthly income for sponsored families in her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia, is less than $114.

Using the money she earns with “foamy” art, Laura is studying to be a medical and aesthetical cosmetologist. Though her parents pay her tuition, she is able to afford raw materials for her art and textbooks for her school. Her earnings also cover her transportation to and from her classes.

Laura is just one of many outstanding youth who are determined to make it in life. Thanks to the dedicated sponsors of Children International, they’ve got a fighting chance.

Photos and reporting assistance by Patricia Calderón, from our agency in Barranquilla, Colombia.

1 comment:

alienz67 said...

Wonderful girl! She's going to be a wonderful woman! That kind of motivation and ability to achieve with what you's a rare skill and she will succeed in life with it!
I'm very glad to have read this story, I would like to hear about more children who are nearing the end of their time with CI.