Can you feed your family on $4 per day? $4 a day is what Dona Carmen’s family of three lived on for many years. That all changed after she moved into her new Bridges home. This safe, secure, and clean space gave her the confidence to start a family business, nearly doubling her monthly income and helping her children stay in school.
Carmen’s job at the local water utility earned her roughly $134 per month – just enough to feed her and her two children a diet limited to rice and beans. Her 200 sq. ft. home, made of rotting wood planks and old zinc roof panels, was unstable, but she could not manage to save enough to build a new structure.
Taking ownership in 2017 of a home built by Bridges volunteers and donors like you was only the first step for Carmen and her kids to reimagine their future. After a year of saving, Carmen had enough money to build a small annex on the home where she opened a family business selling sodas and snacks.
Jorleny, Carmen’s daughter, now manages the business after school, which earns the family an additional $95 per month. Without this income, Carmen’s children would not have been able to finish high school or even dream of attending university.
Carmen says “I am so grateful to Bridges for my new home. My family can grow in a better and much more comfortable home. The quality of our lives has improved very much. Jorleny plans to attend university next year to study tourism and Wilton, a 6th grader, is already talking about becoming an engineer.”
Since 1992, donors like you helped us build more than 1,200 houses in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Our housing program is the foundation for familial and community change, allowing all family members to work or go to school, reducing illness stemming from damp dirt floors and substandard housing, providing a sturdy clean structure to start a business like Carmen’s corner store, and generating sustainable dollars for the local community fund. Our housing program, together with our other programs in health, education, and economic development lift families out of poverty and make our partner communities stronger.
Together we don’t just build structures and give scholarships; we inspire change and cultivate the skills of community leaders and residents that help end the cycle of poverty.