Of Struggles and Achievements

source: Flicker.comThe water from the river strike against her tanned face as the boat nearby sped away in a flurry at the backwaters near her house. She loves this time of the day when she is all by herself, fishing for the day’s supper. Her svelte figure has only too much to do. She is an epitome of hard work and selfless love. Her chores begin with the first rays of the sun and only end when everybody else is asleep at home, of course a tattered hut made out of thick cardboard can’t be called a “home” but she loves this place where her family lives together.

She catches her family’s share of fish and goes back humming to herself. She is a strong woman and she doesn’t let any hurdle slow her down. She is the only earning member in her family after her husband’s demise but she doesn’t complain. She takes care of her in-laws, sends her children to school and works all day doing odd jobs. Sometimes she fails to secure two square meals but then life has its share of struggles and happiness, she believes.

The past decade has seen a drastic change in the role of a woman. She feels that the discrimination is slowly melting away but somehow has its own drawbacks. While she is the only able member to earn and feed her family, there are families where the male members refrain from going out because the women of the family are earning. That somehow also hints towards the empowerment of the women. The income of the family comes from the work a woman does. She is respected and she is always valued. Isn’t it what the women always wanted?

With power comes great responsibility and hence she approached the local NGO to ask for help. They vehemently agreed. The NGO formed a self-help group for ladies of the small locality where she lived. They empowered the ladies by collecting weekly funds and forming a capital fund for them. The ladies were given the power to take loans from that fund in emergency and return the amount without interest. This was a huge step towards the empowerment of women in that area. Soon the news spread and now there were many such groups formed by women.

As she looks back, she is nothing but proud of herself for helping not only herself but others too. Life is not a bed of roses for her but she loves her life of struggles and small victories. She is empowered like never before, she has a loving family, her kids excel at school and she is always striving for something better in life. The same organization is working really hard to give her a permanent house unlike the one she is living in. She is hopeful for a better future. She doesn’t sit and dream; she works and sees her dream turn into a beautiful reality.source: Google
Please step forward and help in your own little ways to make life easier for countless less fortunate people around you. This is a true story and I have noticed one thing, they are happier than we are. God’s own special ways to run things around here.


EXCLUSIVE: Warren Pena leads the community of outreach and caring called the South Norwalk Community Center

Warren PenaWarren Pena is the new board chairman of the South Norwalk Community Center (SNCC). Mr. Pena is Minority Leader of the Norwalk Common Council and a representative with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network where he works with clients to identify their definitions of financial security. He focuses on solutions that can help make those financial goals a reality. This is part of his mission now for SNCC, since becoming board Chair.

SNCC is located on the first floor of a building at 98 South Main Street in South Norwalk. The Center currently employs an executive director and part-time youth coordinator. It consists of an administrative office and children’s activities room with a computer lab and books. More importantly, the Center is philanthropy at its best – neighbors helping neighbors. There is a spirit of giving alive here that reminds us all of the original purpose for “nonprofits.” The Center’s giving and caring is the most authentic anyone will ever find anywhere. And it’s been that way for 50 years.

1. Why your cause?

There has been a need and today there is a growing need with low to moderate-income folks in our community.  The fastest growing population is the Hispanic community, which we primarily serve.  Our cause is to serve our residents in whatever capacity is necessary.

2. Share one of your finest moments in serving your cause.

Ernie Dumas served food and fried Turkeys on Thanksgiving Day.  Also, during Hurricane Sandy our doors were open for the people to come stay warm or eat a hot plate of food.

3. What might surprise our readers about you and/or your cause?

I grew up in South Norwalk and the SNCC has helped my family for over 30 years.

4. What do our readers need to know about your cause?

They need to know that the SNCC is alive and well.  We are here to serve all people and want people to come see us.

5. Who are your heroes?

Let me start off by saying that my mother is my hero.  She is a woman who has worked her entire life to make sure that her three children did not have needs.  My mother raised us from the ages of 11,10 and 7 by herself.  When I stop to think about what she’s done, it puts a smile on my face and at times almost brings me to tears.

6. Any events or volunteer opportunities coming up?

We are at the beginning stages of re-branding on many levels.  We would love for those interested in helping in any way to call me or the Executive Director.  In addition, we are looking to add members to the Board of Directors. This year we are celebrating 50 years and are planning an event to celebrate our important history of service towards the end of this year.South Norwalk Center