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Meet the girls and women

Meet Maria Maura

Maria Maura couldn't earn enough money harvesting coffee.

There was a time when Maria Maura felt as though she and her family were living in a dark hole: she had no income outside of the short-term, insufficient one coffee harvesting brought. Her children were so hungry they couldn’t focus on school. She couldn’t print her own name. She saw no way to change any of it.

“Before Plan we felt that we were thrown away, forgotten — we didn’t know where to go,” says Maria.

But chickens changed all of that. Maria’s family was one of the first to receive the gift of seeds, tools and chickens from Plan, along with the training she and her children needed to turn both into a business. The eggs the chickens provide mean food and income, so Maria is better able to provide for her children.

“Now, we have more of a direction,” says Maria. “We have time to think about the future to see how we can get ahead for our children. We just opened a savings account and we want to save half of our earnings so we can get out of the hole we are in.”

One of the most immediate changes, she says, has been in her children. With their stomachs full, school suddenly holds more appeal to them. They study more and look forward to their school day. “This year, they are not going to stay back,” she says.

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