Mothers empowered through savings and care groups

International (MNN) — You celebrated your own mom yesterday, maybe even your grandmother or a motherly figures in your life. Today, Food for the Hungry shares what they’re doing to support other moms around the world, and the beautifully holistic transformation that takes place.

(Photo courtesy of Food for the Hungry)

One of Food for the Hungry’s change-enacting programs is their care groups for women. UNICEF estimates around 29,000 children die each day due to preventable issues — many of them poverty-related. By providing education and support to mothers through these care groups, Food for the Hungry is taking an active role in reducing child mortality and encouraging the well-being of the entire community.

Food for the Hungry’s President and CEO Gary Edmonds explains, “We place them into what we call care groups. We’ll get a lead mother, and in that kind of a context with multiple mothers working together, they’re going to receive training on how to set-up and have nutritious meals to overcome malnutrition in their children, how to overcome maternal health issues…and then how to create a home environment that will diminish or mitigate domestic violence.”

Another one of the ministry’s impactful programs for moms is their savings groups. Women join these savings groups to learn business and financial skills, and these tools are especially essential for mothers in impoverished areas where they may be the sole provider for their children.

Edmonds shares Alba’s story, a 30-year-old mom whose life was changed in a savings group. She needed to provide for her seven-year-old daughter and had already lost an infant son, only days old.

Through the savings group, “[Alba] learned how to take banana fibers, use other fibers, [and] began to build things such as purses and dresses and scarves and hats and just have handicraft things that she could begin to sell on an open market.”

The ministry doesn’t just see change in the mothers’ lives. Mothers join the savings and care groups often to bless their children and families. And as they bless their children and families with the tools they’re given in Food for the Hungry’s programs, their communities are blessed as well.

Edmonds shares this quote from Alba: “‘I feel that even my community is benefiting my work. For me, Food for the Hungry and all its contributors are a symbol of family transformation along with many other women in my community, and I’m sure we’re very grateful for them.’”

(Photo courtesy of Food for the Hungry)

With both the care groups and the savings groups, the hope of the Gospel permeates into their conversations and provides the ‘why’ behind it all.

“In order for a person to find health and wholeness, we need to operate with transformation on both a physical as well as a spiritual kind of a level…. We have training on a daily basis that go along with the skills training that talk about cultivating a relationship with God, cultivating a love for neighbor,” says Edmonds.

“You…have the addressing of the physical needs and the skills to that kind of an end, but it also gets addressed with a presentation of the Gospel, with biblical truth, biblical values.”

Pray for Alba and moms like her to be strengthened in Christ as they support their families. Also, ask God to bless these ministries to mothers with Food for the Hungry as they seek the holistic transformation of families and communities.

If you’d like to support Food for the Hungry and their various ministries, click here to give at their website!