Mariluz Sifontes: Working Towards Her Dreams While Bridging Sister Communities in Peru
By Alexandra Anda
Mariluz Sifontes arrived in Peru in August 2019. She was looking for a place where she could offer a better life to her children, aged 11 and 8 years-old. In Venezuela, she was a security technician in the oil industry but, like many Venezuelans, Mariluz and her husband sold everything they had and set out on the journey to a neighboring country in search of a better life.
Upon arriving in Peru, Mariluz found a job as a seamstress, but it was not enough to cover the needs of the family. She had to find more than one job to earn enough, limiting the time she could spend with her family and for herself. It was a tough time but, as Mariluz tells us:
“Migrant women are fierce women, with vision and a lot of faith, because she goes down an unknown path with optimism. To move forward, you have to be positive."
One day, after spending a long time looking for other job opportunities, her sister-in-law told her about Loop. She had learned about the initiative through the Organization of Collaborators for the Social Assistance of Venezuelan Immigrants (OCASIVEN; for its Spanish acronym), a local NGO that provides social assistance to Venezuelan migrants and one of Loop's strategic allies.
Without a doubt, Loop’s added value is both the quality of its services and its human quality. Through the application, users who request cleaning services receive the profiles of the women members and learn about their stories and dreams, generating empathy and creating a bridge between communities. This is reflected in the comments. The Loop application allows both the women members who perform the services and the users who contract them to rate each other. So far, clients have received an average rating of 4.8 stars from the women members, which shows that the rapport between communities is taking place in a positive way.
Today, Mariluz's positivism pays off. Last month he earned $225 for performing 14 different cleaning services; which represents forty-nine hours of work. To put it in perspective, this is almost equivalent to achieving the minimum wage in Peru but for working full-time.
Loop is proud to be able to provide Venezuelan migrant women like Mariluz the opportunity to work their desired hours at a time that suits them best. In addition, the rate they earn per hour allows them to earn a good income, also giving them the opportunity to share time with their family, while they pursue other opportunities that allow them to take the steps for them to achieve their dreams.
In addition, as part of its commitment to support the members in their insertion in the country, Mariluz now has her own bank account; something she didn't have before she joined Loop. The Loop induction course includes information on how to open a bank account in Peru and, thanks to the alliance with the BCP bank, currently Mariluz and the other members receive their weekly income directly into their own account.
Today Mariluz is an exemplary Loop member: more positive than ever, kind, committed, attentive and cordial; dreaming of starting an enterprise to continue improving the quality of life of her family group.
“I am very grateful to Loop because it gives me the opportunity to work, to grow, to be part of a beautiful community of women and mainly because I can schedule my hours so that I have time to take care of my children, be with them and help them with their school work.”
More than 1000 people have already downloaded Loop in Peru and the number of services continues to increase! We invite you to download the app on your cell phone (App Store or Play Store) and visit the Loop page to be part of this community of Peruvians and Venezuelans working together to build a better country for all.