By Eugene Lee; Edited by Katie Hackett
According to Gladys, 47, she wasn’t a leader “even in her dreams” when she first came to the community as a young mother with her husband Emiliano.
“I was shy. I didn’t participate in anything,” Gladys says. “I didn’t give my opinion or complain."
When World Vision partnered with the community, their children were sponsored. As the family got involved in different World Vision activities, Gladys was elected president of the Mother’s Club, an organization for women in several local urban neighbourhoods.
Gladys found a champion in World Vision staff member Maritza Flores, who mentored the women. She encouraged them to partner with their husbands in improving their children’s lives.
Gladys and Emiliano went to workshops to improve their family dynamics, and it paid off.
“In Peru, we have a problem with machismo,” Emiliano says. “I was like that. In the workshop, I learned to be a good husband. I encouraged my wife to be a leader.”
With only a Grade 5 education, Gladys went on to serve as vice president for her neighbourhood and was twice elected as president of the parents’ organization. Thanks to role models like Gladys, young women in the community have become more likely to take on leadership roles themselves.
Now, both Gladys and Emiliano are taking time off from their volunteering, so they can spend more time with their kids.
Help families in communities like El Milagro and sponsor a child today.