Women from our Fatima site in Bolivia had the unique opportunity to strengthen their independence. Over 75 mothers of sponsored children were invited to participate in a two month cooking course organized by our site. This course, however, didn’t just cover household recipes; it featured popular recipes for Bolivian street food.
Street food is quite popular in Bolivia, and is a fast and easy way to make an income. Proper food safety, good recipes, and basic business knowledge are all required for success. With the experience gained from our site’s cooking course, women would be well prepared to run their own small businesses selling delicious food!
The cooking course was taught by a local professor, who had also previously taught baking classes at our site. Though the course was aimed at mothers, older sponsored children began tagging along and trying their hand at the recipes! “The motivation, interest, and commitment of all the participants was very obvious,” says Fr. Jesús, our Fatima site director.
Over the course of two months, the mothers learned how to make nine recipes, including some popular Bolivian chicken dishes, and handmade pizza. For every class spent cooking, one would be spent on subjects such as food handling, quality of preparation, good service, profitability, and hygiene.
At the end of the two months, a food fair and closing ceremony were held for the participants and their families. The mothers enjoyed sharing what they had learned, and the day was spent enjoying delicious food, family, and friends.
Due to lack of training and education, women usually have a difficult time finding employment in Bolivia: “Previously, we noticed that many mothers were completely dependent on their partners to earn income for the family,” says Fr. Jesús. “After they completed the course, the women realized that through knowledge, they can be independent and able to support their families financially.”
“The impact that was generated, without a doubt, is the change of attitude that the participants now demonstrate. Many mothers can now be proactive and care about their own well being and that of their children,” Fr. Jesús smiles.