This staff photo was sent to me with the message: “Gracias por darnos un trabajo digno!” It was the first day back on site as a group and the mood was one of gratitude for the dignity of work. Everyone had appreciation to add: thank you for valuing our labor, for the ability to sustain our households. Thank you for loving and appreciating us! Thank you for helping us to feel productive and independent.

Dignified employment; a job where you are treated with respect; an environment where your voice is heard and your contributions are appreciated; a fair wage that provides the means to sustain and uplift one’s family: these are all essential elements in a just, equitable society.

At Education and Hope, our cooks and housekeepers have access to literacy training, psycho-social outreach, Zumba classes, group therapy, and family support services. It’s an extraordinary thing to witness these mothers and grandmothers as they grow empowered to care for themselves and increase their agency to care for their families. Their pride ripples out into the community.

When one woman rises, her entire family rises with her.