At Casa de Luz, we have witnessed how an extremely important aspect of seeing community change and holistically addressing poverty is to get involved in economic and community development: meaningful, empowered employment. As described by Robert Lupton in Charity Detox, “creating businesses that can generate income for entire communities in poverty stricken areas can truly help lift those communities out of the grip of poverty.” This is why CDL has recently started a number of Empowered Employment initiatives designed to empower CDL single Moms, equip and build capacity in them, resource them, and to inspire community development on a broader scale.
At CDL, we have witnessed social entrepreneur CDL Moms, like Marilu, who started a small restaurant that later grew into a fully-functioning restaurant, taco stand and tortilla business. From Marilu’s humble beginnings, her restaurant now employs up to twelve women, often times including many other CDL Moms. Working alongside Marilu, these women gain spiritual mentorship, friendship and new skills. Then their self-confidence and self-esteem improves as their quality of life does. We believe that this is meaningful, holistic, growth and change. This is what restoration looks like.
Our empowered employment program works with these CDL parent entrepreneurs to develop a strategic plan, and then provides the funding to get the business off the ground. Some of CDL’s entrepreneurial women have started businesses in the sewing and alterations, jewelry-making, chocolate-making, bakery, and restaurant industries. We dream of starting further Empowered Employment initiatives, including a coffee shop and a cleaning business.