Rosa Cruz Payehuanca is a 42-year-old mother of three children living in the city of Puno in Peru. A decade ago, she joined the Latin American women’s development organization Pro Mujer, which means “pro women” in Spanish. At the time, Rosa was working as a house cleaner, earning around $36 a month. Thanks to a small loan and business training from Pro Mujer, she was able to invest in her new cake business. Today, Rosa earns around $290 a month. In addition to business training, Pro Mujer also holds health workshops across the region, but Rosa hadn’t given them much importance. One day, that all changed.
“During a Pro Mujer health campaign, I had a Pap test and was diagnosed with advanced cancer,” Rosa said. “I needed to have an operation immediately and it was going to cost $900. I stopped working, thinking that it was all going to be quick, but it wasn’t. Thanks to the savings I built up over the years, I was able to cover my household expenses and part of my operation. Today, I feel good and I continue to do my health check-ups – more than anything, for my children because they still need me.”
Rosa’s story is extraordinary, but the obstacles she faces are all too common for women in Latin America.
To learn more about the partnership between Pro Mujer and GSK, please click here.