Advent-Stiftung and national institute help people to become self-sufficient.
Thanks to an ongoing partnership between the Seventh-day Adventist Church in El Salvador and the Switzerland-based Advent-Stiftung (Advent Foundation), dozens of men and women are now able to support their families and improve their lives. Church leaders and officials recognized the 290 individuals from communities in San Salvador who completed a small-business training course and were given tools and equipment that will help to sustain their families.
Giuseppe Carbone, Advent-Stiftung director for Latin America, stands with a group of people trained to operate the donated ovens. [Photo: Fabricio Rivera, Inter-American Division News]
María Teresa Juárez smiles after receiving her certificate for completing a training program in cosmetology, along with a donated hair-cutting kit. [Photo: Fabricio Rivera, Inter-American Division News]
Under the “Viva Mejor” (“Live Better”) annual initiative, men and women who need to find a job but lack the necessary training are provided the opportunity to receive vocational education free of charge, organizers said.
“Your lives will be changed, and that will help our society in El Salvador to have more productive persons,” said Abel Pacheco, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in El Salvador, as he congratulated the beneficiaries.
Pacheco thanked Advent-Stiftung for its commitment to benefiting families in El Salvador for more than 26 years. “We are thankful for the partnership with Advent-Stiftung that has grown over the years in each of our five church conferences across the country.”
For Giuseppe Carbone, Advent-Stiftung director for Latin America, making the trip every year to donate equipment to trained individuals is very satisfying. “It’s been a beautiful partnership that involves committed staff to follow up on these individuals who have benefited from this project,” said Carbone. “Church leaders in El Salvador has taken this project seriously.”
The church has enlisted the support of El Salvador’s Instituto Salvadoreño de Formación (Professional Formation Institute), or INSAFORP, which provides training together with the church.
María Teresa Juárez was among the nearly 300 people who benefited at a Delgado City school center in San Salvador. Juárez had been incarcerated for 12 years and had lost all hope of supporting herself and her family once she was released for good behavior. She was among a group of eight who were selected by prison ministries volunteers to be part of the “Viva Mejor” project.
Juárez received her certificate in cosmetology and a hair-cutting kit to begin working in the beauty industry.
During the past three years the initiative has assisted nearly 1,000 families, an average of 329 families per year. The cost of the training and equipment is between US$250 and $400 per person.
The “Viva Mejor” project provided griddles for tortilla making, welding kits, carpentry tools, sewing machines, cosmetology kits, baking ovens, electrical repair kits, ice cream carts, and more during the ceremony held in early June.
Each individual receiving a certificate also was presented with a new Bible.
Advent-Stiftung has helped thousands of people over the years in Central America, South America, the Caribbean region, and India.