“Think about what circumstances in our lives have brought us to this very evening. We are gathered here based on our positions and our success in various fields. During our lives, we’ve all been presented with opportunities of one kind or another, and we worked hard to capitalize on those opportunities. Our hard work paid off. Each of us have seen a direct correlation between how hard we work and the results we achieve.
Now, I want you to imagine…what would have happened in your life, if there had been no connection whatsoever, between how hard you work and the results you got?
That is exactly the situation faced by the more than 1 billion people who live on less than $1 a day. The connection between how hard they work and the result they will get has been broken.”
– Bill Clinton
A large majority of poverty is a result of a lack of options and opportunities. That was the case for Diego, Marcos, James, Santiago and Miguel. These men are pastors, fathers and respected community members. They have knowledge and experience in raising chickens to feed their families; but they longed to move from farmers to businessman. Living in rural areas in Belize, opportunities can be hard to come by. Even with their desire to do more with their talents and skills, they lacked the training and opportunities to turn them into businesses.
Marcos pastors multiple churches and had struggled to have enough money for bus fare to travel between locations. His wife, Elfenia, is skilled with creating hand crafted wristbands which she had tried to sell, but was unable to get them to the market due to transportation challenges. In one venture trip, all that changed! With our partnership, Marcos was able to launch a chicken farm, and Elfenia found a platform to sell her merchandise; through our online store!
In speaking of Marcos and Elfenia:
“It is unbelievable. We have just transformed their lives. She gave up awhile ago because they weren’t able to sell them. Her husband goes to help run multiple churches and has just been selling a couple things to just get enough for a one way bus ticket to the next village church. Then he tried to get enough money there to afford a bus ticket back.
Now we have come to partner with her and their family to create two new ventures!! The steady flow of income is like winning the lottery – but better! We are treating them with dignity and respect as entrepreneurs rather than beggars.”
– Impact Junkie Philip Harding
By the end of the week, 4 new chicken farms were launched, plus Elfenia’s wristband venture! Only God could orchestrate the opening of doors like that. So what will the future look like for these entrepreneurs? Maybe it will include them being able to enroll their children in school they could not previously afford. Maybe investments into more sanitation for their churches and homes will be possible. Maybe it will mean they’re able to finance transportation to and from churches. Maybe they will be able to invest in others in their communities who have ideas for businesses but need additional training and opportunities.
The answer is, the opportunities are now endless!
“For a long time we were waiting for something like this to happen. Sometimes we have it really hard but I know it’s God who touched your heart to do something like this in Belize, and we really appreciate it. We have been praying for this for a long time. Thanks for introducing these ‘Junkies’ to us.”
-Belize Entrepreneur Diego
So what do Impact Junkie ventures do? They repair the broken connection between how hard a person works and the result they get.
This post was written by #ImpactJunkie Rachel Oliver-Childress.
Purchase one of Elfenia’s wrist bands here!
Purchase a chicken to support the Entrepreneurs of Belize here!
Start doing more with what you have been given by joining Impact Junkie here!