By Melissa Wheeler for CRS
Lucia is a grandmother in Honduras who is raising her granddaughter, Mayra, on her own. In order to provide for Mayra, Lucia works hard every day picking coffee and doing people’s laundry. As is the situation for many caregivers all over the world, Lucia seldom has time to help Mayra with her schoolwork. Lucia is not alone in this struggle in Honduras where 65 percent of people live on less than $2 a day. Through a program called Food for Education, Mayra is able to access the help she needs to be successful in school so Lucia can focus on working to provide for basic necessities.
Food for Education is a Catholic Relief Services (CRS) project that benefits 53,863 children enrolled in 1,047 pre-primary and primary schools. The project focuses on literacy, attendance, retention and attentiveness. Regular meals are provided by the school so students will receive the nutrition they need to be successful in their studies. The project also provides basic educational materials to schools, trains teachers and provides transportation to students so they can get to school.
In Mayra’s case, her teacher recognized Mayra’s struggles with school and paired her with a tutor named Fabricio. Now, Mayra is doing better in school with Fabricio’s help. They have also become great friends. It is a great relief for Lucia, as you may imagine, to know that Mayra is succeeding in school and is taken care of well when she is at school.
Now, Lucia can more confidently do what she needs to do to provide food and shelter for herself and Mayra. We can see a humility in Lucia’s hard, thankless work every day.
As parents, we prepare our children for the world. None of us will be exempt from hardship in our families.
Tradition tells us that Anne and her husband, Joachim, struggled to have children. They devoted themselves to prayer and fasting in hope that God would intervene for them. What a great blessing they received — to be Mary’s parents and the grandparents of Jesus. It is easy for us to take the sacrifices of parents for granted.
This week, reflect on the role that parents have played in your life. Were you given opportunities to succeed, even if your parents had humble means like Lucia? Were you provided with life’s essentials? Were you taught right from wrong, even when facing hardship? How might you honor your own parents and caretakers while honoring hardworking parents and guardians throughout the world?
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