The GOD'S CHILD Project

The GOD'S CHILD Project mission is "to break the bitter chains of poverty through education and formation." While GOD'S CHILD is rooted in education, we aim to support the communities we serve at every level of development. Through our wide range of programs, we help children and families living in extreme poverty to meet their basic needs and find a restored sense of hope, self-worth and human dignity.
May 23, 2013

Sandra Carolina Lopez Illescas

Sandra is second youngest of her four siblings. Her parents are currently living in Santa Rosa and visit their children every month; however, due to a lack of money they have not been able to visit recently. When the parents visited each month they contributed economically to the household, although it was not much. Life for Sandra has not been easy since she has had to work from a young age. A few months ago her job consisted of collecting old junk door to door in San Andres Itzapa. Though Sandra had little revenue, she was able to contribute something to her household.

A few years ago, the young lady also worked for a vegetable exporter in Zaragoza, Chimaltenango. Sandra’s boss at the time offered her an opportunity to go work abroad and promised a better quality of life and income. Sandra refused the offer. Then, some time ago, Sandra was walking home when four men attacked and raped her. As a result of this incident, Sandra became pregnant and later had a miscarriage; nonetheless, Sandra continued persevering to achieve her dreams and be someone in this world. 

Sandra´s greatest desire was to be able to have an education, however, the need for money to survive drove her to work in construction, as a mechanic, as a clown, and she was even forced to ask for money in the streets. The little money she collected she saved to be able to pay for school the next year. In 2010, Sandra received information about Centro Educativo Tecnico Scheel (Scheel Center) which belongs to Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados. In order to be able to go to the school, Sandra commuted from San Andres Itzapa to Jocotenango. Since Sandra did not have money to pay the bus ride in order to get to school, she worked on the bus collecting bus fares from the passengers and this way earning her bus ride. Once Sandra was accepted into the school she was provided a scholarship and a volunteer named Ida Jaarvik helped her cover the costs of the bus fare.

Although Sandra was receiving help, it was not enough to keep her from collecting junk to sell. As a result, Sandra was received into the program of ITEMP to provide her extra assistance due to all she had been through. The first step in the program was to provide with psychological assistance and then carry out medical exams. Additionally, Sandra received help to fund her education.

In the end, Sandra was not the only one that benefited from the assistance that was provided. With the help the family received from ITEMP, Sandra´s sister, was also able to go to school. Currently, both women are studying. Sandra was also able to attend some beauty course and continue studying at the Scheel Center. Sandra´s entire family is grateful for the help they have received. Thanks to the support she received from Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados, Sandra ´s life has improved and she now has a promising future as a professional.

Mar 25, 2013

Juana Sarai Xitamul

Juana Sarai Xitamul lives in the neighborhood of San Felipe de Jesus near Antigua, Guatemala.   She comes from a very poor family.  Her mother works as  a housekeeper and earns only 400 Quetzales a month, the equivalent of about $50.  Her father works as a brick layers assistant when he can get the work.  Juana was raised by her grandmother until she was six years old.  Her grandmother cared for her because her mother worked all day and her father was nowhere to be found. 

Juana now lives with her mother, who she loves very much and who does her best to care for her.   Her father also lives with them, however, he is not as kind as her mother.  His moods vary and he is often unpredictable.  Sometimes he treats Juana very well but he has hit her on occasion in the past and for that reason Juana no longer wants to live with them.  Juana would like to return to her grandmother’s home, however, due to her grandmother’s relationship with her father, she will not allow her to live with her again.

Juana is presently studying at the Scheel Center and is focusing on Tourism and Hotel Management.  She hopes to someday work at a fancy hotel and be able to travel many places and see the world.  She dreams of being able to change her socioeconomic status in order to be able to help her family.  

Mar 22, 2013

Providing a Future for Cesar and his Family

Many families in Guatemala and surrounding countries live in poor conditions, unprotected from the heat and the rain, unable to provide enough food for their families and susceptible to various diseases.  Cesar is a child from such a community in El Salvador.  His family began coming to the Association about eight years ago.  They were able to begin coming to Nuestros Ahijados after the founder of the Institution, Patrick Atkinson, learned about their situation.

When Cesar’s mother, Mrs. Nelly first learned that Patrick was offering the family a grant she was very hesitant to believe it.  She had been through a lot of hardship in her life and had learned through instances of deceit not to believe everything she was told.  She grew up in a country where poverty is common and all of the family contributed to the income.  She has been working ever since she was a child and, thus, did not receive a full education.

It was very important to Mrs. Nelly for her two children, Cesar and Joselyn, to gain an education.  The children’s’ father was not present as they grew up, so it was just the two of them and their mother.  Mrs. Nelly shared that when her husband learned she was pregnant with Cesar he decided he did not want anything to do with the baby and financially abandoned them.  Mrs. Nelly continued seeing him, though, in hope that he would decide to support his family.  A couple of years later, Mrs. Nelly became pregnant with Joselyn.  Again, her husband chose to abandon his family, this time leaving all together.  It was at this point that Mrs. Nelly really began to feel hopeless. 

She continued to work hard as a house cleaner, but the income was not enough to provide for herself and two children.  She often received help from her parents, but they did not have a lot to give either.  The combination of her meager salary and the little her parents had to offer still was not sufficient to keep her family healthy.  She wanted badly for her children to gain an education, but the more they grew the more the expenses grew.  Mrs. Nelly had decided to take her children away from their studies so they could help to work and provide food.  It was precisely at this time that Patrick Atkinson and Nuestros Ahijados came into their lives, providing a way out.

Until this point, Nelly’s family had been living in very poor conditions.  They had a small home that did not provide enough protection.  Nuestros Ahijados was able to change this, though.  Construction teams were sent to build a durable house for them so they would have a safe place they could live in as a family.

Nuestros Ahijados also provided an education for the two children.  Cesar is 19 now and is in his second year at University studying to become a math teacher.  He tells us that the work is challenging, but he is thankful for the opportunity to learn and succeed.  He wants to continue his studies so he can provide for his family.

This is only one of the many stories of families who suffer from poverty.  Nuestros Ahijados was founded to help children like Cesar succeed so the cycle of poverty can be broken and another family can begin to thrive.  Will you partner with us to provide a future of success for one of the many children who so desperately need it?

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