HOGAR INFANTIL "LA GLORIA" ORPHANAGE IN MEXICO
The needs of the children of Hogar Infantil "La Gloria" were brought to our attention in the early 1970's when Lupita and Guillermo MacFarland began regular visits there with their church group. The children were very poorly cared for and the needs there were tremendous. An official report was made to the Mexican Government and after their investigation was complete, the people in charge were forced to leave.
The MacFarlands took over the management of the orphanage. It was an overwhelming responsibility and they sought out the support of the Augustinian priests in San Diego. In time, Fr. John Blethen, O.S.A. took the project under his wing and since then conditions have continued to improve. Fr. Steve Ochoa, O.S.A. took on the orphanage reigns when Fr. John retired to Nazareth House in San Diego. The efforts of these dedicated people and the increasing number of benefactors and volunteers throughout the years have all been instrumental in creating the children's home you see today. The major renovation project in progress is a result of an electrical fire in the Spring of 1998.
Hogar Infantil "La Gloria" is located about 13 miles from the U.S./Mexican border. It is home to 54 children who are placed there for a variety of reasons. They are under the custody of the Mexican social services agency (DIF) and we provide the service of housing them because the government cannot provide for all of the needy children. The children live with us 24 hours a day and are cared for by paid employees who generally live in the surrounding community. The children go to the nearby schools.
The children stay with us for different lengths of time depending on their unique situations. Generally they stay through completion of elementary School. We are also fortunate to have frequent volunteer groups come and participate. Volunteers provide activities for the children, and significant help with projects. We are sincerely grateful for all the work volunteers do! Hogar Infantil "La Gloria" receives no monetary assistance from the Mexican Government. We rely solely on your generous donations.
AUGUSTINIAN SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The Augustinian Scholarship Fund was founded in 1984 by Monica Santos. Its purpose is to help young people from Hogar Infantil "La Gloria" and the surrounding community to pursue their education beyond the sixth grade.
Mandatory education ends with the sixth grade in Mexico and further education is very expensive for these students. They must pay tuition, buy books, uniforms, and all the necessary school supplies. School is often not close which means transportation costs as well. An average student may spend between $500 and $1,000 for one school year. For many, this makes the possibility of Secundaria (Junior High) education nearly impossible.
The economic crisis in Mexico means that an adult with a minimum wage job earns about $2,000 a year and these families need the extra income that their teenager can contribute to help maintain the family. As a result, parents are often not supportive of their children's desire to continue with school. Much education is needed in the area to reinforce the long-term value of increased education.
The Scholarship program began with one student and now boasts 55 participants. The participants are required to maintain good grades and be responsible students. They must attend a monthly meeting at Hogar Infantil where they present their expense records, recent school work, and grades. They spend one afternoon a month volunteering at the orphanage and providing positive role models for the children there.
As long as a student continues to fulfill the requirements, they may continue the program. Over the years, approximately 80% of the children have completed Secundaria (7th - 9th grades) and many have gone on to Preparatoria (10th - 12th grades) or Trade Schools. Two students have gone on to the University.
The Augustinian Scholarship Fund Program not only provides educational assistance but just as important, it provides guidance and a sense of community for these adolescents as they move toward adulthood where they face many obstacles and hardships.
Sponsors for one or more of our children are always needed. Please consider helping!
Visit the website: CHRIST ALIVE CORNER ORPHANAGE
Children Having Fun At Heart Of Mercy House, Honduras
The mission of Casa Corazón de la Misericordia (Heart of Mercy House) is to create an integral, loving environment in which children can live and develop fully. The Casa seeks to assure each child the necessary conditions to optimize the quality of life by providing the basic necessities, physical as well as psychological, sociological and spiritual; to create a milieu in which the human rights of each child are respected; and to accompany each child in his or her personal journey toward improved health or through the process of dying.
This mission is an expression of the mission of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a Roman Catholic religious order committed to the service of the poor, the sick and the marginalized, especially women and children. The Sisters of Mercy have been serving in Honduras since 1959.
Casa Corazòn is a residential community of children and youth living with HIV/AIDS. "La Casa or "La Casa de los Niños," as it is familiarly known was opened as a response by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas to the urgent need to care for the increasing number of children with HIV who were orphaned or abandoned due to the death of a parent(s) from an AIDS related illness. The Casa is located in a small colonia named Perfecto Vasquez outside of the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Casa Corazòn was opened on December 8, 1995, by Sister Masbely DelCid, a Sister of Mercy from Honduras, and placed under the protection of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Originally built to care for 10 children, the Casa “family” has grown significantly and now there are 30 boys and girls who call it their home. In its ten-year history, this home has cared for more than 70 children.
OBJECTIVES OF CASA CORAZÓN
* To optimize the quality of life of each child living at the Casa.
* To provide good, nutritional meals and appropriate clothing.
* To oversee each child's health care needs and to ensure that each receive antiretroviral drugs and other medications to help relieve symptoms of opportunistic infections.
* To provide regular health care examinations.
* To assist each child to develop as fully as possible, emotionally, socially, and spiritually and in the knowledge of their Faith.
* To offer support to children and staff when a child dies.
* To ensure that each child has access to education just like any other child so that she/he might reach her/his maximum potential, develop life skills and achieve social integration.
* To provide staff support and the opportunity for personal and professional development.
Visit the website: CASA CORAZON DE LA MISERICORDIA
"ORPHAN HELPERS" IN HONDURAS, NICARAGUA AND EL SALVADOR
"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever -- do not abandon the works of your hands." [Psalm 138:8]
The vision of ORPHAN HELPERS is to see at least one Christian standing beside every orphaned, abandoned and incarcerated child, helping them to realize God's purpose and plan for their lives. We work in 15 orphanages and detention centers in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
These children are in the bottom tier of their social strata:
* Orphaned, abused and abandoned by parents
* Unable to be placed in the foster system
* Completely unnoticed by domestic and international adoption agencies
* Passed over by NGO (non-governmental organizations) private orphanages.
HOW DO THE CHILDREN ARRIVE AT GOVERNMENT CENTERS?
The last stop for these forgotten children we serve is a government-run orphanage or juvenile detention center. These governments have very few resourcces. They welcome ORPHAN HELPERS as a preferred-partner as we have proven our ability to make a positive impact on the lives of the forgotten generation.
These children enter the system via four primary sources:
1. Local hospitals send babies abandoned in the maternity wards as well as sick and injured children who cannot return home due to health and safety concerns.
2. The social services agencies find, retrieve and place abandoned and abused children (babies left by dumpsters, preschoolers wandering the streets, children removed from families where sexual abuse and domestic violence is rampant).
3. The juvenile courts send children as young as 10 and 11 years old into the detention center system, many with indefinite "sentences."
4. Police routinely "round up" children from the streets and deposit them into the "system". So many of these kids are taken out of situations that involve drug abuse and child prostitution.
HOW ARE WE MAKING A LASTING IMPACT?
ORPHAN HELPERS is staffed with approximately 60 full-time employees hired from the local communities where facilites are located. Our ORPHAN HELPERS received training on programs designed to meet the spiritual, educational, emotional, and physical needs of those we serve. Some of our staff are former orphans. The impact and credibility of these "orphans-turned-helpers" is unmatched.
ORPHAN HELPERS leads many mission trips each year from the United States. Travelers on these short-term mission trips are from churches, school groups, universities, civic organizations and other volunteer groups. Teams transport Bibles, clothing, educational supplies, sports gear, hygiene products, health-care items and other donated goods that are collected and stored in the ORPHAN HELPERS warehouse in Hampton, Virginia. The teams conduct evangelistic programs, sports events, educational and training seminars, workshops and other programs that impact these children with genuine love and care.
Visit our main website: ORPHAN HELPERS
Where we work:
"ORPHAN HELPERS" PROJECTS IN EL SALVADOR
CIPI, SAN SALVADOR
"Centro Infantil de Proteccion Inmediata" (Immediate Protection for the Youth Center). CIPI is the first point of placement by judges, police, and social workers for children entering into ISNA, "Instituto Salvadreno para el Desarrollo Integral de la Nnez y la Adolescencia," (Salvadorian Institue for the Integral Development of Children and Adolescents). These children have either been orphaned, abandoned, or abused. ISNA is under the direct authority of the First Lady of El Salvador and their headquarters are located on the campus where CIPI is located. CIPI is designed to be a safe and temporary center for the children. The government works to quickly place these children with family member sor foster families.
The population is composed of approximately 60 young girls (ages 5-17) and approximately 50 infants and toddlers. ORPHAN HELPERS' presence at CIPI is through volunteers (in-country and visiting mission team members) who offer the love and good news of Jesus Christ through Bible school activities, parties, or assisting the care of the babies & toddlers We anticipatee having ORPHAN HELPERS staff members in this center by the end of 2006.
"Complejo de Integracion Social para la Ninez y Adolescencia" (Complex for the Social Integration for Children & Teenagers). CISNA is home for more than 120 boys ages 7-17. These boys are admitted as a result of abuse, abandonment, or for their personal protection as ordered by the court. Most of these boys are runaways, "street kids," or bos considered to be a social risk. ORPHAN HELPERS has 9 staff members in this center who work as advisors, occupational therapists, "substitute parents," clinical assistants, and laundry room attendants.
EL ESPINO, AHUACHAPAN
Ahuachapan is near the border of Guatemala and was El Salvador's wosrt detention center until the ORPHAN HELPERS staff brought the Gospel. El Espino detains approximately 60 young men ranging from 15 to 21 years of age. They have committed crimes such as robbery, assault, kidnapping, and murder; they have been senteced to serve time in this detention center. Most of these boys are members of street gangs. ORPHAN HELPERS has three staff members at El Espino who teach, guide and offer spiritual advice to these boys. Their message of hope and salvation has proven to be quite successful as two of our staff members were former inmates of this center.
ILOBASCO RE-EDUCATIVE CENTER, ILOBASCO
"Sendero de Libertad" (the Way of Freedom). 180 boys aged 15-20 are sentenced by the court to serve their detention time here. There are also approximately 50 girls sentenced to serve time in an adjacent compound. These boys and girls have committed various crimes such as robbery, assault, kidnapping, prostitution, drug abuse, and murder. ORPHAN HELPERS wants to reach these kids for Jesus Christ through 4 staff members who teach, advise, and counsel them through discipleship training and education.
ORPHAN HELPERS, EL SALVADOR
"RADIANT FUTURES" ORPHANAGE, MEXICO
Our children arrive to us with nothing, no parents, no support ... nothing. We take in the children who have been abandoned and provide them an instant family. From day one we do all we can to love, feed, house, teach, and care for these children. They have come into our home as babies from 3 days old up to 4 months old. Ours is a constant effort to give a bright radiant future to what was a dark uncertain beginning.
Organized in 1996, our first project has resulted in building a 6,000 square foot group home in the troubled State of Chiapas, Mexico on a five acre fenced in lot that will house 25-30 children. In addition to a strong family setting, this site provides the children with a library, educational and vocational opportunities, growth potential, and room to play and be a kid.
Our projects are ongoing with the foremost emphasis on caring for our children. We have built a playground, with slides, swings and climbing bars. A basketball court that can also serve as a tennis court. A large gazebo, many benches, and sidewalks throughout the area for the children to ride their bikes. We are also in the process of building a carpentry workshop to build furniture for our needs, and to teach the surrounding community woodworking skills.
We have been delighted to include many volunteers in our effort to educate, love, and care for our children. Volunteers have come to stay at our home and work with the children and/or the land for as short a time as a week up to a 6 month stay. They have come from throughout Australia, England, Canada, United States, and Mexico.
A unique quality of our organization, all of our Directors and Management Staff are volunteers. Which means all the money raised for the children goes to the children. This idea is very important to Radiant Futures, founder and president Gloria Call. It was her plan when creating this organization that if a donor contributed a dollar for the children, 100% of the dollar would go to the children and their needs. With the dollar so much stronger than the peso in rural Mexico where we are working, every dollar does make a difference. We are so grateful for the contributions by many to make this effort a success.
We ask that you might be willing to help donate to our very worthy endeavor. As we help children obtain a radiant future with our combined help!
Contact us at RADIANT FUTURES
MALNUTRITION PREVALENT IN MUCH OF CENTRAL AMERICA
[World Bank, December 18, 2006]
Malnutrition is not usually thought of as a Latin American problem. But in much of Central America -- notably El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua –chronic child malnutrition is as prevalent as it is in Africa or South Asia.
In Guatemala, half of all children under five years are chronically malnourished. In El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, one out of every three children under five years is affected. And there has been no improvement in reducing malnutrition in these four countries for over a decade. “In Central America, malnutrition contributes directly to increased poverty and, in the long term, it can have a negative effect on a country’s economic growth of up to 3 percent of annual GDP,” says Evangeline Javier, Director for Human Development in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region of the World Bank.
Children in poor, indigenous, and rural communities suffer the worst rates of stunting (low height for age, an indicator of chronic malnutrition) in Central America. If malnutrition sets in before a child turns two years old, as is predominantly the case, the consequences are irreversible.
In order to raise the profile of malnutrition as a development issue in Central America, the Bank organized a workshop on Fighting Chronic Malnutrition in Central America in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on November 27-30, with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bank Netherlands Partnership Program (BNPP).
“In the past, there has not been enough exchange of knowledge between Central American countries, despite the fact that they share common challenges,” commented Laura Rawlings, Sector Leader for Human Development in the World Bank Country Management Unit for Central America. “This workshop gave them an opportunity to learn from one another and to develop strategies for improving their own programs, particularly community-based programs focused on preventing malnutrition in children under two years old.”
The event brought together 150 participants, including practitioners from all six Central American countries and from several Andean countries, researchers, opinion-makers, government officials, and representatives of the World Bank, the World Food Program, the Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF, and USAID.
“Good nutrition is the cornerstone of the survival, health, and development of current and future generations,” said Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, First Lady of Honduras, at the opening of the event. “Well-nourished women run fewer risks during pregnancy and childbirth. Well-nourished children perform better at school, become healthier adults, and can offer a better start in life to their own children,” she explained.
Wendy de Berger, First Lady of Guatemala, gave the other side of the coin. “Malnutrition is the lack of opportunities,” she said. The discussions in Tegucigalpa drew on the Bank’s research, including Repositioning Nutrition as Central for Development: A Strategy for Large-scale Action and a new regional study, Key Issues in Central America Health Reforms: Diagnosis and Strategic Implications, which identifies “the high and persistent prevalence of malnutrition” as one of the region’s top health challenges. This is especially true for four countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) which account for 96 percent of chronically malnourished children in Central America.
The research shows that the main cause of malnutrition in Central America is not lack of food, but a combination of factors such as poor maternal health, inappropriate infant care and feeding practices, and lack of access to safe water and sanitation.
BREAST FEEDING IS KEY FACTOR IN PREVENTING MALNUTRITION
Exclusive breastfeeding during an infant's first six months is a key factor in preventing chronic malnutrition.
“Nutrition policies need to be national, multisectoral agendas,” said Christine Lao Peña, Senior Human Development Economist in the Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean Region. “They should combine short-term strategies such as nutrition advocacy with comprehensive, long-term strategies that include changing household and individual behavior and improving levels of female education and status in society.”
A central aim of the workshop was to review the performance of community-based child nutrition programs. “These programs are being introduced or scaled up in many Central American countries and they have proven to be both affordable and effective,” said Rawlings.
The Bank is currently supporting community-based projects in El Salvador and Honduras, where the model has been adopted as the national nutrition strategy. The Bank has also approved a project that will expand community-based nutrition approaches in Guatemala, including intensive nutrition education counseling sessions for mothers, focusing on poor, indigenous areas.
Ways to address malnutrition in Central America
1. Prevention, especially through regular monitoring of children’s growth, coupled with early warning systems linking high-risk cases to trained health specialists;
2. Targeting efforts on pregnant women and children during the first two years of their life, and prioritizing the poor, rural and indigenous populations where malnutrition is concentrated;
3. Educating parents about hygiene, the importance of monitoring their children’s height and weight, and child care feeding practices, including exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life;
4. Action at the national, program and community levels, to ensure that combating malnutrition is a national priority, supported by an appropriate multisectoral agenda and effective nutrition programs in at-risk communities;
5. Monitoring and evaluation of nutrition programs
CARING FOR ORPHANED, ABANDONED AND ABUSED CHILDREN IN GUATEMALA
In Guatemala, there are thousands of orphaned, abandoned, destitute and abused children. They are victims of family disintegration which is the result of the social and economic violence in the midst of which they live everyday. A recent U.N. study showed that 83.4% of all Guatemalans live below the poverty level.
For them, "hope" is an empty word. To hope is to think about food, clothing, education, a decent shelter, love, acceptance, understanding and concern. But their dreams become shattered by the humiliating reality that achieving even the simplest of things will be a struggle.
BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!
Casa Shalom, a Christian home for children in Guatemala is offering help to the truly helpless. Started in 1987 by Dr. Rick and Janice Waldrop, Casa Shalom was birthed out of a vision of an orphanage that provided a home, food and education with the love of God enveloping in all aspects of their lives.
Shalom is the biblical Hebrew word which means "peace," "well-being," "health" and "salvation." Since Casa Shalom opened its doors, its goal has been to offer peace and well-being to those beautiful lives God has brought to be part of its family. Children from around the country have converged on the twelve acre farm for a new life and a second chance. Casa Shalom supplies their basic needs of health care, education, food, clothing and housing in a family atmosphere of love, acceptance and discipline.
Above all, Casa Shalom provides an environment filled with God's love with the desire that every child will come to know Him as their personal Saviour and friend.
Casa Shalom currently cares for about 60 children. All of the children live in our five houses and are cared for by loving house parents. This arrangement allows the children to receive individual attention and creates an atmosphere of home. The children also receive spiritual guidance in their homes through daily devotions. Casa Shalom also has a baby house currently caring for about 9 infants and toddlers. You can see all our children's homes on the PICTURE PAGE
Over the last decade, missions work has grown by leaps and bounds as the urgency to spread the gospel around the world has penetrated the hearts of many Christians. The majority of the increase of missions work has come from people who take vacations to serve for a short period of time. Within that group, fall 2 categories of short term work -- teams and individual volunteers. Here at Casa Shalom, we have great needs for both types to come and serve with us. Volunteering with us has many perks and is a very rewarding experience for people from all backgrounds and ages.
Here at Casa Shalom, there are a number of things that teams could help us out with. It seems that there are always construction projects taking place and painting that needs to be done. There is also a need for just having people here to love on the kids. We have 65 kids living here at Casa Shalom and only about 20 staff. The more people we have here, the more love the kids can receive. With this group of kids, it does not matter if you do not speak Spanish. The language of love can go a long way in communication. If you are interested in bringing a team to Casa Shalom or would like more information, please email us at email@example.com
Just as there are many opportunities for teams, there are many for individuals who would like to come and serve at Casa Shalom. Love is one of the most important things that a person can instil in a child and the more loving people we have here working, the more that can be given out. As an individual volunteer, you can have the opportunity to help out the house parents in raising these precious children. You will also have the opportunity to cook for them, tell your favorite children’s stories to them, etc. There are many, many things you can do. If you are interested or would like more information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In June, three men entered Hector's home and murdered his father, mother and two-year-old baby brother. They then attempted to kill him, but the bullet got lodged in his cheek. Hector and his younger brother and sister arrived at Casa Shalom the same night, completely shocked after everything they had was ripped away from them. God immediately began working with them through their new house parents and workers of Casa Shalom. Just two weeks after that terrible day, Hector asked Jesus to come into his heart. A smile is now on his face as Christ's love has brought joy and hope into his new life.
Marco Antonio is one of the newest additions to our family and currently the youngest. He is the result of child adoption exploitation. His mother had made an arrangement to sell him to a lawyer after birth. In tern, his mother was paid and was able to have him in a national hospital. One of the nurses recognized the lawyer and suspected what was going on. The authorities at the hospital reported him to the children courts. Casa Shalom was asked to take care of him, so we went and picked him up from the hospital.
Visit the website: CASA SHALOM
© Copyright 1999-2009, Parallels. All Rights Reserved.