Senovia Martines—La Concha
Senovia Martines is 38 years old and has 8 children. To support her family, Senovia used to have to work in Managua as a maid. Senovia was only able to come home for 2 days every two weeks and she didn’t like leaving her family alone. Now, because of a Rainbow Network loan, Senovia works in her community and is able to be with her family every day. The Rainbow Network started a sewing cooperative that makes school uniforms and other articles of clothing, and Senovia is the president of the cooperative. She makes enough money to provide for her family. Senovia is very thankful for the opportunity given to her by Rainbow Network, “I am here because I believe that God wants me to be here today. I also want to thank the Rainbow Network for bringing the feeding centers, education programs, scholarship programs and the sewing cooperative to our community because it has been a benefit for all people. IT’S A BLESSING FROM GOD and a miracle that there’s all these programs and services that we didn’t have before. I hope you won’t stay with us just for a period of time, but I hope you can stay forever!”
SOLANOS, CIUDAD SANDINO | Griselda is the single mother of three teenage children in Solanos. She runs a small store called a “Pulperia” out of her home, where she sells food to others in the community. Rainbow Network micro-loans provided the opportunity to start a modest store and now, as she nears paying off her 10th loan, she has expanded her enterprise and can do more for her family. Two of her children attend secondary school on scholarships. She says, “Before the Rainbow Network came to Solanos, few children could attend school. Now, almost all of the children are able to study.”
When Rainbow Network arrived in her community Eunice was newly orphaned and raising her two younger brothers in a tiny mud hut. She said they survived on handouts from the kindness of similarly impoverished neighbors, but there often wasn’t enough food to share.
With Rainbow scholarships, she was able to attend first high school and then trade school for a year to become a professional seamstress.
Five years ago, she moved into a Rainbow house, where she now lives with her husband and 2 year old son. They make much of their living with a sewing machine bought on a RN micro-loan, using cloth from another loan. With the profits from each piece of clothing, she is on track to paying off their mortgage.
SAN MIGUELITO, NAGAROTE | Diego Rufino Lamping is from San Miegulito in the Nagarote region. He is a natural salesman and an entrepreneur who has parlayed a series of 17 Rainbow Network loans into an increasingly robust business.
He began with a microloan that was used to set up a small road-side business selling food. A later loan was used to buy a sturdy wagon that allows year-round transport of supplies from Nagarote, allowing him to remain fully-stocked, even during the rainy season. Subsequent microloan purchases have included a cow, horse, lawnmower to cut feed grass for the livestock, and a freezer to store perishables for sale in his store.
“The most beautiful thing about Rainbow Network,” Diego says, is that “when peace is missing in community, RN implements the peace of Christ.” Diego’s 16-year history with the Rainbow Network includes 11 years leading his local committee and acting as a community coordinator. He says he has seen much improvement in that time, including overall economic stability, better health for the community, and the addition of two teachers to prepare young people for the world.
Some of those young people are in Diego’s family. One son is following in his father’s business legacy, gaining a microloan to make and sell cheese. Another of his sons is training to become a veterinarian, and he says it all begins with education. “The government gives only a little help, but wants something in return,” he says. “But Rainbow Network’s help is unconditional.”
Valentina, achieving economic independence
CIUDAD SANDINO | Valentina is a widow living in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua with her grandson. She was approved as a Rainbow housing recipient in 2000, and has since transformed her livelihood with hard work and Rainbow micro-loans. Initially, she worked as a maid cleaning houses, but began selling bread in the streets and later open-air markets for extra money. She jumped at the opportunity to engage her entrepreneurial skills with a loan, which allowed her to start a small general store. In addition to the store, she bought chickens and pigs with micro-loan money. In 2011, she paid off her house with income from her store and farm. This is a huge step in moving her family forward – her grandson recently graduated University with a degree in graphic design and their small family is proud of their economic independence. Valentina was recently able to purchase a small dining table for when her children visit from the capital city where they live and work – a small token that represents the culmination of her hard work.
LA PALMA, LA PAZ CENTRO | Experience from her work on her community’s Rainbow Education Committee and two years in technical school was exactly what Felix Susana needed to get a job with the Nicaragua Ministry of Education. In addition to her work as a teacher and education administrator, she volunteers on the Rainbow Nutrition Committee and started a small business to supplement her family income. With micro-loans, she bought grains, soft drinks, and school supplies to sell in her store. Recently, another micro-loan enabled her to purchase a freezer, so she can sell perishables to the people in her community, and hire an assistant to run the store during the day so she can dedicate time to her true passion; teaching primary school. Professor Felix Susana is an inspiration because of her work to lift her own family out of poverty, educate the young people of Filos de Cuajachillo, boost her local economy with a store, and even provide a job to another person her community.