“I always wanted my life to be different,” Erika said, choking back tears.
Since 2011, Convoy of Hope has empowered more than 46,000 women and girls around the world through Women’s Empowerment. More than half — an astounding 26,841 — began a new chapter with Convoy of Hope in 2020.
Erika is one of many women whose story of success represents thousands of others.
Ever since she was a child, Erika learned to go without things that others had. Some were childhood luxuries like toys; many, however, were necessities, like a reliable source of food.
“My childhood was a very difficult time,” she recalled. “Because we didn’t always have food available. I never played with dolls because I did not have any toys.”
Desperate for a chance at a different life, Erika moved in with a man when she was 17. Soon after, she became pregnant and began to fear that she was doomed to repeat a pattern of hopelessness. For Erika, the worst part was not being able to provide the life her daughter deserved.
“It was very painful to see my daughter suffering with me because I never thought I was going to come out of that situation,” she remarked.
Thankfully, a friend introduced Erika to Convoy of Hope and she enrolled in a cosmetology workshop through their Women’s Empowerment program. She learned valuable skills to help her in the workforce, like how to give manicures and pedicures, and how to cut and style hair. But the most important thing Erika learned was how to identify her self-worth.
“I was a shy person with a way of thinking that I’m not going to succeed. I did not have hope for the future. And now, it’s totally different,” Erika said triumphantly. “I started hearing that I am valuable, that I am important, that I have a lot of skills — not only in my job but also as a woman. Convoy was the beginning of my life changing.”
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