Less than two years ago, Wil’s wife left him. The couple had been struggling financially in the community of El Tunel, Nicaragua for many years. One day, she decided to run away from all of it and she never returned. She also left behind their three young boys.
Wil was heartbroken and alone, left to take care of his sons with a very limited income.
Recently, Juan, an Outreach staff member in Nicaragua, and a few members of the headquarters team, sat down with Wil outside his home to hear him tell his story.
“What has it been like to raise your boys as a single dad the last couple years?”
Wil burst into tears. “It’s hard to be alone through this,” he told us through translation.
He talked about scam artists who came through the village several years before, claiming to be with a charity, collecting money from each household willing to participate. With their grandiose promises and seemingly genuine concern, they gave the community hope for a better future, then took all the money and never returned.
Years later, Outreach Nicaragua’s staff member, Juan, came to El Tunel. Naturally, the people were skeptical. It took a long time for him to become acclimated and to gain the trust of the people; but when he did, things began to change for the better.
Wil’s shoemaking business had been established for some time, but the loan he had arranged at the outset was hitched to an exorbitant interest rate, and paying it back was hindering his ability to grow and prosper. Alongside other members of the community, he entered into a group to obtain a low-interest, community-managed loan fund. The realistic, fair rate and support from his fellow entrepreneurs proved a strong platform for reliable growth. In a short while, he was earning a steady enough income to have the means to meet the needs of not only his business, but those of his family.
Wil showed us his factory tucked against the side of his home displaying more than 50 beautifully crafted shoes on a table. The pride in his accomplishments was evident as he showed off a pair of his own shiny, new white sneakers on his own feet.
Finally we got to meet the boys. The three of them came out of the house timidly, dressed up for company, and then vanished quickly feeling shy.
Wil flashed a beaming smile, happy to have the opportunity to show off his hard work, and the care it enabled him to show for his children.
It is still difficult for Wil and his family to make their way in the world on their own, but there is little doubt their family is stronger than ever.
This Father’s Day, you can help dads like Wil care for their children. When you buy Outreach International’s HopeBlend coffee, or a wooden handcrafted puzzle from the Outreach shop, you’ll give hope to those who need it most.
Happy Father’s Day from all of us at Outreach International.