Why does poverty so often follow tragedy? The feeling of defeat, of being battered by life’s tragedies, can be a crippling mindset that makes way for poverty.
For 66 year-old Pedro, the loss of close family members left him in a state of crippling grief. In 2012, he lost his wife to illness. Four months later, his son was shot by criminals in Guatemala city. The loss was too much for him to bear. Despite his position as a respected leader in the community, Pedro found himself in a slump.
After several years, FH staff paid Pedro a visit in his home. They asked him his story, and how he’s processed his grief over the years. Pedro explained, “The death of a loved one is not an easy thing to stand but I trust that God is my strength and my refuge.” Pedro was ready to embrace life again.
Having spent many years believing that the FH training workshops were a waste of time, Pedro surprised FH staff when he showed up for his first Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) workshop in 2019. The point of DRR workshops are to help communities remain resilient in times of disaster. Having a plan in place helps communities weather all the storms in life, from droughts to hurricanes. It felt good to be involved in community leadership again.
Because he’d faced storms of grief in his own life, Pedro knew how important it would be for his community to be resilient in theirs. It was rewarding to come up with a plan to help his community fight poverty.
“Being part of the community leadership has been important for me, I feel committed and courageous, I feel happy because now I have the opportunity to give something back in the place I have lived for so many years.” explains Pedro.