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Jasmine lives in the village of Guanijiquil, which is approximately one hour from the Mission Lazarus administrative offices and Lazarus Academy in Honduras. It's a region that has been forgotten by the local government and politicians, resulting in a lack of many basic necessities like basic healthcare and education, much less job opportunities - all essential for a promising future. The lack of government investment also means a lack of road infrastructure, therefore requiring Jasmine to walk over an hour to get to Mission Lazarus.
Jasmine is the youngest of five siblings, born to hardworking parents striving to secure daily sustenance. Her father is a subsistence farmer with no fixed employment, relying on cultivating corn and beans to provide food for the family. Her mother is a homemaker who now also cares for her grandchildren because Jasmine's siblings had to migrate in search of better opportunities. Unfortunately, they didn't have the same chances as Jasmine to pursue education and prepare for a brighter future.
In 2019, Jasmine’s parents sought help from Mission Lazarus. Without hesitation, the doors of the Lazarus Academy swung open for her. She entered seventh grade with not only the opportunity to study but also the possibility to learn a trade of her choice. She decided to train to become a seamstress. In 2021, Jasmine completed ninth grade and enrolled in college to pursue a career that would allow her to continue her education at the university level. Currently, she's in her second year of college, driven by the desire to excel academically. In her free time, she sews for her neighbors, earning a bit of money to cover her school expenses.
Last year, Lazarus Artisan Goods initiated an exciting new project: women learning carpentry. In Honduras, carpentry is a traditionally male-dominated field, and no one in the area could imagine women learning the trade, let alone earning money at it. Jasmine enrolled to learn, and today she is a producer of wooden bowls, cutting boards, and wooden spoons in our carpentry workshop. She receives payment every two weeks, which she invests in her studies and uses to support her parents.
Through her work, Jasmine also enjoys spiritual blessings. Each workday begins with a devotion to the Lord - prayer, worship, readings from the Bible, and an encouraging message. Jasmine says that these devotions have made her reflect deeply. She had previously stopped attending church, but now that she has the consistency of a daily work schedule and others to study God’s Word with, she has resumed the habit of going to church every weekend with her parents.
Where you spend your money, time, and resources matters more than you know. If Jasmine hadn’t had the chance to learn a new skill and find consistent work, she might have been forced into the very difficult journey of leaving home like her siblings. This is what you support when you buy items made by artisans at Lazarus Artisan Goods. In Jasmine’s words, “Thank you all.”