Mrs. Maria Elena Jara Villalobos, known as Nenita, has participated in the microfinance site since February 2022 in sewing classes. Her husband passed away in 2021, which caused her to fall into depression and she just wanted to die. Her daughter-in-law Diana told her about SI and told Heydi and Cindy (the microfinance site leaders) about Nenita. They contacted her and invited her to attend the classes. Although she was afraid of rejection, she decided to come. One of her dreams was to learn to sew and make her own clothes. However, as a young girl she had been told she would not be able to learn something like sewing. These words had a deep impact on her and had marked her life. Her mother passed away when she was 8 years old, and it became her responsibility to raise her brothers and sisters. However, that did not stop her from fulfilling several of her dreams. She got married and has 3 boys who she is super close with and who take great care of her. But she had never learned to sew.

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Over the last two years not only has she learned to sew, but she has also started attending knitting classes and the Bible studies. She has become quite the seamstress making pajamas for her granddaughter, blouses, and skirts. She has also knitted various purses and hats. In November she will turn 69 and is grateful for the opportunity she has had to find a new purpose in life.


We asked Nenita why she started coming to the classes and why she stayed. This was what she said, “The reason for coming was because I was widowed, I was in depression, I felt that my world had already ended.  When I come here [to the classes] I feel different, I am another person with a desire to live. Being part of this ministry has caused a radical change in my life! The way the SI staff have treated me has motivated me to stay. I thought that because I was an older adult they were going to reject me and it was the opposite, they are very special to me. I don’t like missing classes because I feel overjoyed coming to this place, I don’t have words to express everything I feel or my gratitude.”