Those three words have plagued children and grandchildren for generations.  Believe me – I’ve both heard the command and invoked it. I’ve also shamelessly used the “starving children in Africa” strategy. Yet when it comes to broccoli – most ineffectively.  

Meet Sara, she lives in the mountainous town of Patzicia, Guatemala. She is a single mother living in a small commune with her two daughters, her parents, brothers and their families. All the children are beautiful girls (as you can see). 

With the money they receive from Mentors International they rent two properties besides the one they inherited as a family generations ago. They grow broccoli and potatoes. There are no machines, no laborers, no automated systems. It’s just them, day after day doing what they’ve always done for decades – and happily I might add.  

With the mentoring we offer they have learned financial skills related to costs, sales, profits and personal vs. business finances. They are being taught skills vital to self reliance and they receive constant coaching, over time, to help them “apply” the principles they are learning. 

Money only is rarely the answer to self reliance and overcoming extreme poverty in a lasting way. As important as a financial infusion can be, if it’s not coupled with skills training to manage newfound resources, the extremely impoverished will likely make poor decisions motivated by extreme needs. It’s a very challenging proposition that needs a holistic approach.  

So eat your broccoli! Who knows, it may have come from Sara’s fields and she needs the support! If necessary, show this picture to your kids – because those cute little girls suddenly make broccoli seem like a tasty treat. You will probably have to add butter and salt. 

– Curtis 

Connect with Curtis Bennett, CEO of Mentors International on Linkedin.

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