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Crisis resiliency is a marathon, not a sprint

When learning a new skill, the second attempt is always a little easier than the first. On the third and fourth try, there is a sense of familiarity. By the fifth, tenth, twentieth time and beyond, muscle memory kicks in as we work toward mastery. 

The concept of repetition is proven true whether the goal is to run a marathon or overcome extreme poverty. Just like novice runners accomplish shorter distances in preparation for higher mileage, Zoe children also begin with the basics, typically food security, and work their way up to handle bigger obstacles like income generation and safe housing. 

By the end of marathon training, a 5k run seems like a drop in the bucket. At the end of three years of empowerment training, eating enough every day to feel sustained and satisfied is not only easy but expected. With every mile ran or challenge conquered, momentum and confidence build.

In the face of a pandemic, a time when many people have lost everything, we’ve witnessed Zoe children draw on their training and track record of overcoming challenges, and in doing so, they’ve realized Coronavirus is just another bump on the road toward rebuilding their lives or, in the case of graduates, maintaining the independence they already achieved. 

But instead of starting from scratch, like at the onset of the empowerment program, they have an enormous advantage in that they are surrounded by their group members who are ready and willing to work together to support one another in ways that have already been proven effective. 

John Mwenda, a 2019 graduate, runs a mechanic shop in a rural village in Kenya. Although he was allowed to keep his shop open, the business has slowed significantly, leaving him especially grateful to have learned the importance of saving money while enrolled in the empowerment program.

The financial cushion John built before the pandemic hit has allowed him and his family to sustain their lifestyle in recent weeks and proactively support community members who are suffering, including two Zoe first-year students whom John is training on motorbike repair and mechanics. 

 

John has also given other community members food and a small wage to assist him with farming chores at his home. “I’m grateful for the training and financial support I received from Zoe because I am able to have savings to help us pull through this difficult period and knowledge on how to protect myself and my family from COVID-19,” said John. 

In Malawi, Stanley, a 2nd year Zoe student, had just finished harvesting his soybean crop when the government made the declaration for the COVID-19 lockdown. After learning his two neighbors lost their jobs, he hired them as temporary workers to assist him with processing his crop. He is smiling because he feels blessed to pay them a fair wage that will provide for their family during this challenging time. 

Because of their involvement with Zoe Empowers, both John and Stanley have gained what thousands of orphans and vulnerable children are still waiting to experience: a changed perspective. They know how bad things could be because they lived that life, and they overcame that life. Today, they are empowered, equipped physically and psychologically, to never live that life again, even with the threat of Coronavirus. They have become crisis resilient

This is why generous Zoe donors have offered to match your full or half-empowerment group partnership now through June 15, 2020. Your pledge to empower 100 children doubles to give up to 200 orphans and vulnerable children an answer to their prayers. They will gain hope, and like the Zoe graduates, they will later find ways to reciprocate the blessing for others.

With your help, we can build more crisis resilient orphans and vulnerable children around the world. Partner with a half- or full-group today, and empower up to 200 children.  

How many children like John and Stanley can you give lasting sustainable change?

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Learn how the Zoe Empowers’ program is doing as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds.

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