Since my own dear mother passed away seven years ago, I think of her often and consider the impact she had on my life. I don’t know where I would be without her influence. I see the influence of wonderful mothers everywhere as I visit Mentors International borrowers in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Nearly 90% of these impoverished entrepreneurs are women. Many are mothers who want a better life for their children—an opportunity to have the necessities like improved nutrition, education, and medical care.
The sacrifices these mothers make for their families are tremendous. They go without to put shoes on their children’s feet and possibly send them to school. These women lead by example, teaching their families the principles of hard work, commitment, and honesty—as demonstrated by a 1.6% loan default rate.
May I share the store of one such nurturing mother—her name is Rubelyn. Born in Davao City in the Philippines, Rubelyn grew up in a large family and began working on a rice farm at age nine with her parents. None of the eight children finished elementary school. They had to work to put food on the table. At 18, Rubelyn left to work abroad and became the main bread winner for her family back home. Four years later Rubelyn returned home, married, and eventually had three wonderful daughters. Her husband struggled to find work. They took what savings they had left and began selling chickens and hogs.
Rubelyn’s mother wanted to help and introduced Rubelyn to Mentors Philippines in 2011. Mentors International provided a comprehensive program of mentoring, business skills training, and a small loan. Together, Rubelyn and her husband opened a motorcycle parts and repair shop. Their income doubled and their two oldest daughters attended school full time. Rubelyn teaches her children hard learned lesson in financial discipline, as they help their mother after school in the shop
A small loan provides a big lift, changing the generational trajectory of poverty to one of self-reliance. Your support has helped 3.6 million individuals over the past 25 years. More are waiting for their chance. Join us in making a lasting difference in the world by clicking here. Please know of our gratitude for doing whatever you can.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Mark L. Petersen, CEO and President