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.
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?

Feb 27, 2013

Belmaris is Receiving her Dream of an Education

If you were to observe the Dreamer Center of Nuestros Ahijados you would see the smiling faces of the children as they run around, shouting, playing, and enjoying life.  Few people realize, however, the harsh reality that these children have come from. Belmaris Perez is one of our girls who can provide an example of the extreme poverty faced by so many families living in Guatemala.

 


Belmaris is from a family of ten children.  With nine brothers her parents had many mouths to feed and not a lot of money to do so.  Like many families from poverty stricken areas of Guatemala, they did not have a lot.  They did not even have their own home, but while the Perez family had a dual income they were able to afford a rented home.  It was quite small, but in decent condition compared to the countless other places they had called home for the past five years.  Some of these houses had been dirty and unsafe, but they provided a roof over the family’s heads.  

Mr. Perez does not have a stable job and is only able to contribute approximately Q. 2,300 monthly, which translates to roughly $300 US dollars.  Belmaris’ mother, had been working in a bakery, which provided more of an income for the large family to live on, but recently she had a pretty bad accident and was injured.  Unable to walk, Mrs. Perez could not afford other means to get to work, further stressing the family’s difficulties.

Yet another concern is that some time ago, Mrs. Perez came across three children who did not have a home.  These children, Hector, Cesar, and Astrid were abandoned by their father and had nowhere to go. Mrs. Perez did not have much to offer, but could not bear to leave these children to fend for themselves. She adopted them and they now live with the struggling family.

Belmaris often felt alone in the midst of the many children and parents preoccupied with finding a means to provide.  She is an extremely resilient child though.  She managed to remain positive the midst of her problematic and struggling household.  She always hoped for eventual change and the opportunity for education and success.  Mrs. Perez said that she had planned a good life for her children, but was saddened that this had not been successful.  She felt hopeless, never knowing if the family would come up with enough money to stay in their house or if they would have enough food for even a day.

When Nuestros Ahijados approached the Perez family they were so happy for the chance to attend school and gain an education, which is invaluable in a country like Guatemala.  They also have received economic help to support the large family.  Belmaris has received her dream of having an education and has been a part of Nuestros Ahijados for over eight years now.  She continues to receive good grades and grow in her knowledge and potential for success.

The Perez family is a wonderful example of the fact that poverty does not have to stop a child from achieving success.  There are countless other children who still need help.  We ask that you consider partnering with us to provide these children with the same future Belmaris is now enjoying.

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