The fabric of life

These two young women represent the fierce determination of sponsored youth

It's almost Labor Day, that time of year when most of us pause to recognize … the closing of the swimming pools and the only day off between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. Hmm.

It's true that we don't give Labor Day the respect it deserves. It's a time to reflect on how our workforce has contributed to the success of our nation. When it became a federal holiday in 1894, safety standards and workers' rights were largely ignored, and dying on the job was considered worth the risk to provide for your family.

Things aren't that different now in many poor communities, including ones where CI works. Youth poverty is especially common, because children in poverty don't have the skills or connections to get their foot in the door.

You're changing that cycle! So this Labor Day, let's celebrate the initiative and poise of young ladies like Viviana and Iris, both graduates of our Into Employment program in Guayaquil, Ecuador. They both work at a fabric distribution company with whom we have an agreement to hire qualified graduates.

Viviana likes helping customers and strengthening her job skills.

The work is a natural fit for Viviana, who loves to sew and is a talented seamstress. She's working in the curtains and upholstery department now, but she hopes to someday own her own business. One thing's for sure: She already has the numbers game figured out. “My dream is to have a boutique,” she says. “Fabric is not expensive but clothing is expensive. For example, a blouse may cost $20 and the fabric to make it costs $3. If I sew it myself, I can have my own business.”

Then there's Iris, who's the sole provider for her family at age 19. Her father has a blood disease and can't work, and her mother stays home with her three younger siblings. She's naturally shy, but is becoming more confident as she interacts with her customers.

Iris is quick to share what she's learned from Into Employment: “Today, youth must give their highest effort in a first job, since we don't have previous working experience. When beginning, we need to have patience with others and also with ourselves. Another thing is that we're coming here to work with other people. This is a social environment with different people and we need to respect each other.”

What every parent wants for their child  and what every sponsor wants for their sponsored child  is to be happy and successful in life. It's why we've put such an emphasis on career readiness and life skills programs like Into Employment. Youth who work hard and believe in themselves need someone else to believe in them, too! And that's just what you're doing  by reading this blog and acknowledging their accomplishments. So, thanks for that!

Why employment?

To have any hope of escaping poverty, income from stable work is essential.
Learn more about Into Employment

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