Big Hearts of Volunteers

Carmen sharing health information with a mother and her baby.

Carmen sharing health information with a mother and her baby.

I took a bus for one hour, and then a motor-taxi to a community called Ovalo Heroes Cenepa in Peru. It’s a community where Food for the Hungry has worked for about 10 years.

The weather was mild, but quickly darkened. I went into the community’s control room, where there is a speaker. A call was sent out to volunteers throughout the community. After a little time, three volunteer mothers came to meet me. Their names were Carmen, Gloria and Elva.

I’m making a video called “Volunteers with a Big Heart” to show the sacrifice and work these mothers do for love of their community.  These women volunteered and were trained by FH to bring information to promote better health and non-violence in families. They walk from house to house to build relationships and share information. Some mothers train other mothers to carry the information to even more households. Here is a little bit about each of the women who are helping families to create  better homes for children to grow in.

Meet Carmen

Carmen Anglas is married and has four children. She makes a living by running a small sewing workshop at home, while teaching her daughter the trade. She is a bit shy, but she talked to me. She recounted the moments she spent making repeat sessions from house to house. She had to repeat because often she received rejection of some families.

She was presenting a new way of living. It didn’t go over well sometimes, but it didn’t stop her from continuing to be a parent volunteer. She says she believes in what she’s teaching and continues to practice good health and non-violence in her home.

Meet Elva

Elva Flores, came a little later, but I recognized her, because I saw her in a photo. She was also a bit reserved, but glad to be interviewed about the work she does in her community. Elva, is a single mother with two daughters. She works hard as a maid. Her friends characterize her as being very determined, which is a great quality for being an FH volunteer.

Gloria training other mothers in her home.

Gloria training other mothers in her home.

Meet Gloria

Gloria Leon is a young married woman and mother of a beautiful girl. She works selling breakfast. This means she rises at 2 a.m. to prepare quinoa, maca, soy, egg bread, cheese and breads. She sometimes ends work at 11 a.m. At home, she cooks for her daughter, does the chores and goes to sleep in the late afternoon.

“When do you have time for your sessions?” I asked.

“At night I give some time to visit my neighbors,” said Gloria. “My neighbors ask me for the sessions, in fact, they demanded me to teach them the truth. I never thought I would be a parent leader.  I realized that I really like it and thank FH for this opportunity.”

Gloria and the others are just a few of the volunteer mothers willing to work to see their community changed, different and developed. When we all work together, great change happens to help children thrive. It’s a beautiful experience of women with big hearts blessing their communities.

About Danae Castaneda

Danae Castañeda works as a social communicator for Food for the Hungry (FH) from Lima, Peru. She met Jesus three years ago and starting serving the poor with FH two years ago. Now, she reports stories from the field to help end poverty in Peru.

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