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How one women transformed her career and her life

POSTED April 9, 2020

How one women transformed her career and her life

A Children Believe entrepreneurship workshop changed a family for the better

By Karla Ramírez, monitoring, evaluation, learning and knowledge management officer


Lily Salinas, 51, remembers when she began selling homemade tortillas. At the time, she didn’t know much about business. That changed in 2008 when she became the leader of a community development program in her neighbourhood.

As an active member of her community, she had the chance to join a group formed to encourage female entrepreneurs by giving them access to equipment and a loan to kick-start their businesses. As a result, Lily learned what it takes to run a successful business, took cooking courses and eventually built a kitchen. Then she began to diversify, adding chicken, vegetables, homemade food and firewood to her product offerings.

The changes meant the businesswoman had more income to renovate her home (and shop), which was a relief since the leaky structure had wooden walls full of moths and a dirt floor. “Now, my home is secure,” says Lily, adding, “I can sleep peacefully.”

The mom is also feeling more empowered, especially as she continues to attend workshops about women’s rights, children’s rights and more. And, her husband, who had not always treated her well, is supportive. “My husband, Pablo, is now a better husband, he collaborates in the business and helps me with household chores,” Lily says.

The couple have been working together to make personal life changes, including babysitting their grandson so their daughter can focus on her goals of opening a grocery store. Perhaps she’ll join her mom in influencing the family’s outlook for generations to come.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

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