Celebrate International Women’s Day: 4 Portraits of Empowerment and Hope

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world in March of every year. This year, we celebrate and recognize ENLACE Church Coaches who work tirelessly to invest in women every day. Women who are valued, supported, and trained play an especially important role in community leadership. Whereas men often work away from home, women leaders are more likely to care for children and represent their needs in community development plans.

ENLACE’s Church and Community Program makes a meaningful impact through leadership, vocational, and technical training, and offers social, physical, and emotional support to women in each country that ENLACE serves. Here, we share four unique portraits of women of all ages from El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Nepal.


Salvadoran woman


Reina’s a remarkable young woman from El Salvador who’s grown up seeing her parents make a big difference in their church and community. She took those lessons to heart, diving into everything from teaching kids at church to singing in the worship band and even getting her hands dirty with major community projects such as building gutters, improving roads and school infrastructure and participating in leadership training in community development initiatives like chicken farms through ENLACE’s Church and Community Program.


Due to her incredible love and commitment, others in her community recently elected her as a community leader. She now serves on the Community Development Association for the village of Chantusnene. People aren’t just impressed by what she can do; they’re inspired by who she is—her endless joy, her grit in facing challenges head-on, and her heart for helping out where it’s needed most. 



Guatemalan Woman


Growing up, Maria Jose saw firsthand the limited opportunities for girls to engage in sports, not to mention the safety concerns that come with it. That all changed when local church and community leaders introduced a soccer academy as part of a violence prevention initiative, welcoming over 80 kids and creating a safe space for everyone. This academy is more than just playing soccer; it’s about building character, teaching life values, and pushing for gender equality. Maria and the other participants got more than just soccer training; they were inspired by talks and supported with the right gear, thanks to the contributions of the Comunidad Cristiana Maná church, where a majority of the members are women and young people who have a strong desire to serve their community.  For Maria, the program was a game-changer. It taught her that her gender doesn’t define her limits—in sports or life. Today, Maria’s not just better at soccer; she’s made many new friends and has grown closer to her family, all while breaking stereotypes and paving the way for other girls in Guatemala.



Nicaraguan woman


Before ENLACE’s Church and Community Program introduced vocational workshops to her community in Nicaragua, Ana was a woman of limited resources. She had no hope of a decent living wage because of her lack of education and training. Ever since she was a teenager, Ana worked in other people’s homes washing, ironing and doing other chores. There were times when Ana had insufficient food and could not afford hygiene products. Her children did not always attend school because they lacked basic food for lunches and supplies. But thanks to ENLACE’s church accompaniment model, the church can be the entity that brings hope to women through tools that contribute to their personal growth and drive women like Ana to dream of a transformed community. Women can be trained to create businesses and become entrepreneurs. 


Ana was trained in a beauty vocational workshop and now specializes in manicures and pedicures. This new skill generates more income for her and her family. She bought new clothes for her children and encourages them to participate in school and play with other kids. Today, Ana is part of the local church and supports other women who want to learn a trade in vocational workshops like she did. “I had always been taught that I was born to be poor and forgotten, and that I would die in the same condition.” But Ana’s heart and mind have changed. She now has a new vision for herself and her children.


Nepali women and children


In Nepal, women like Ranjita confront daunting challenges. Born into families of low caste, they face societal disdain and struggle with self-acceptance. This cycle of poverty and rejection makes education and securing a living wage nearly impossible, further isolating them from their communities.


Ranjita’s story, however, takes a turn toward hope and empowerment. With the support of the local church and the ENLACE Church and Community Program, she transitioned from a life of marginalization to one of leadership and impact. She became a teacher and joined the staff of a school founded by the local church that serves the most marginalized children in Durgabhawani. Ranjita not only educates her students but also instills in families the value of learning and the understanding that they are loved and accepted by God.


Beyond teaching, Ranjita received training in proposal writing and running development projects. She has embraced this role in community advocacy, raising awareness on critical issues like human trafficking and child marriage. Through the church’s emotional, spiritual, and technical support, she has found her voice and purpose. Ranjita feels empowered to make a difference and is motivated and equipped to serve her community. The church has helped her see her worth, and she now sees that she has an essential role in helping her community’s poorest to live with dignity and hope.


Ranjita’s journey from exclusion to empowerment exemplifies the profound impact that a church can have when walking with its community and looking for ways to serve. Liberty Church and others working with ENLACE Nepal, are nurturing hope in some of the world’s hardest places.



Nepali woman


We hope you will join us as we invest in women like Reina, Maria, Ana and Ranjita to feel valued, loved and supported, nurtured and trained, and empowered to create positive change in their own lives and in the lives of others. 

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