Chilean villagers given a new Hope

By November 13, 2008

Chile (MNN) — Bright Hope International is helping to create jobs for a small village in Chile. The villagers are poor and have little opportunity or funding to do more than just "get by."

The village people are known as the Mapuche Indians. There is a general assumption that the Mapuche are unmotivated and unproductive, perhaps a notion created from the town's poverty. However, Bright Hope's Mark Lennox has found the village to be filled with hard workers who simply lack the resources to achieve their goals.

There are two specific projects the Mapuche people hope to fulfill that would impact over 600 people. In the village, every family has fruit trees that provide more fruit than the family can use. Typically the fruit spoils or becomes animal feed. The first initiative is to take this fruit and turn it into jam. This would provide a great deal more income to these families, but they have little funding to buy sugar and other ingredients.

The second initiative has been instigated mainly by the men. The Mapuche men would like to live near to their families, but due to the slow rural economy, they have been forced to find work in larger cities. The men would like someday to create a carpentry business to make and sell furniture. Although wood is available, the men lack the proper tools, and they are busy helping the women with their jam business.

The Mapuche work tirelessly to feed and support their families, but it doesn't seem to be enough. One Mapuche woman noted that the money she earns becomes the bus fare for her children to get to school. This is the most money the family can spare, however, and they do not have enough money to buy their children school books.

Bright Hope is working to provide for the needs of the Mapuche people in order to get their businesses started, but more funding is necessary. If the businesses were successfully launched, children would have books, men would be with their families, and churches would be impacted. If you can help Bright Hope to implement these initiatives, click here.

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