Lucia Viviana teaches victims of domestic violence new-found self-confidence
Lucia Viviana Maquisaca Mora is a single mother of two children who has been through a lot. As a nine-year old, she had to work as a maid; as an adult, she became a victim of domestic violence. But instead of giving up, together with other like-minded women, she founded an association that not only helps women keep food on the table for their families, but also helps to feed over 450 underprivileged children.
Lucia Viviana Maquisaca Mora with her children. Photo: SOS Children´s Villages
When Lucia Viviana arrived at the SOS Children’s Village at the age of 13, she was finally able to be a child again. Before that she had worked for three years as a maid in a private household. She vividly remembers her first day at the village: “With the love and care of my new mother Viviana Mendoza, I immediately felt safe and secure.”
Today, she lives alone with her daughter and son, having been a victim of domestic violence. The balancing act of being there for her children on the one hand and providing for the family on the other was often too much to handle. Last July Lucia joined together with a group of other single women. Many had experienced the same things. Lucia was the driving force behind the group’s founding of an association whose original aim was to prepare meals for the child development centres run by SOS Children’s Villages.
ASOSERFAM, as the association is called, almost immediately grew as other centres requested their services. Today, the association, which is financed by the Ecuadorean government, has a monthly turnover of 30,000 dollars and serves daily meals to over 450 children in need.
Lucia Viviana (right), busy at work, preparing meals for underprivileged children. Photo: SOS Children´s Villages
“Sometimes other women who are sad or have experienced violence come to our association. It helps them when they hear what I and the others have gone through and how we were able to overcome our difficulties. I tell them they are not alone and that they should seek out people who believe in them for what they are,” said Lucia Viviana.
It is Lucia Viviana’s children who give her daily strength. “I am grateful and proud that I am able to be a good mother.” Studying for her high school diploma and working at ASOSERFAM also give her self-confidence and security – as too, of course, does the support from her SOS family, whom she often visits.
“With her strength and vitality, Lucia Viviana is an inspiring role model for many women who have been abused.” Christian Ivan Matute Sanchez, SOS Children’s Villages Ecuador co-worker