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.
Feb 15, 2013

Juan's Story

It is often hard to imagine the atrocities that victims of human trafficking experience, especially when those victims are children. This case is no different.  We can’t use his real name, so we’ll just call him Juan. 

Juan lived on a small farm in a cattle ranching community of Guatemala.  When Juan was seven years old, his cousins began to sexually abuse him and continued to tease him. In another year, he and his mother moved to a shantytown outside of Antigua, where his mother met a new boyfriend. When Juan confided in his mother’s boyfriend about his awful experiences, this man’s response was to sexually abuse Juan just hours later.

When Juan was twelve, he encountered an opportunity to leave his horrible life.  A couple from El Salvador offered to take him to work in Mexico. Juan accepted the offer and left with them that same night.

After years of brutal treatment at the hands of those who were supposed to love him most, Juan thought that this was his ticket out.  What Juan didn’t realize was that the offer made to him was a doorway into a world of abuse and exploitation that would change his future. 

For four years, Juan, just a young teenager at the time, was drugged and forced to swallow and smuggle bags of cocaine and heroin across international borders.  As if this was not enough torment in itself, after each transport Juan was locked in a small room where he was sexually abused by multiple men a night. Each time he complained, he was injected with a drug that would make him more compliant.

While most sixteen-year-olds welcome their birthdays with a big celebration and a new driver’s license, Juan was not granted this rite of passage.  On this day that is special to many teenagers, Juan was being forced to smuggle more drugs.  Fortunately, Juan gained enough coherence to break away from his traffickers. Soon after, he met a woman who offered to help him.  Once again, Juan was the victim of a broken promise. He was sold to a black market brothel, where he was drugged, shaved, and exploited for sexual purposes.

Months went by before Juan saw an opportunity to escape the hell he was living in. He ran away and began life on the streets of an Oriental Marketplace, surviving by digging through the trash. Though he wanted to return home, the drugs had taken their toll on his mind and he did not know how. Eventually, he was found by the police and was sent to jail, where he experienced more abuse before being sent to a group home.

It was here where the bitter chains of slavery were finally broken. The home talked to the government and the government talked to us. 

Despite being threatened by government officials and encouraged to commit suicide, the long battle was won. One of our staff members stood with Juan a few weeks later at the Guatemala City International Airport. Juan was coming home.

The Institution of Trafficked, Exploited, and Missing Persons encounters situations like this all the time. Juan’s story is just one of many.  In fact, each year there are millions of victims of human trafficking in the world. Many of them are children who are robbed of simple pleasures, such as a sixteenth birthday party. 

Your prayers and support are what makes recovery for victims like Juan possible.  Every little bit counts. Please donate and join the fight against modern-day slavery.

Nov 30, 2012

Silver - Tragic Childhood, Hope For The Future

Silver was born into a poor family in Guatemala City. His father was a seasonal agriculture worker and more often than not he struggled to feed his family of five. The search for employment eventually led the family to the northern Guatemalan province of Peten.

But only six months after leaving everything behind in search of a better life, two year old Silver’s world was turned upside down. Two men entered the family’s farmhouse late one night, machetes drawn and full of senseless rage. They killed his father on the spot, slit his mother’s throat, and chopped two fingers off his eleven year old sister’s right hand. Tiny Silver was quiet as the men entered the house, but they turned and wielded their machetes on him anyway, striking the baby in the face and taking out his left eye.

With ongoing support from the GOD´S CHILD Project the children went to live with their grandmother and at three years old Silver received a critical surgery and a prosthetic eye. Today, the baby who survived this horrific tragedy is twelve years old. Unfortunately, he has outgrown the surgery performed on him nearly ten years ago and everyday runs the risk of a deadly infection that could manifest in his droopy eyelid. Silver has grown up in the GOD´S CHILD Project and with generous support from donor´s like you we will be able to continue supporting him and get the surgery he needs in January 2013.

This past year he frequently missed school because he was sick and often did not want to go for fear of being bullied. Silver wants to continue his studies and this operation will give Silver the confidence he needs to excel in school and to continue moving forward in the wake of such a tragic childhood.

With YOUR donation Silver will receive the surgery he needs and will be able to begin grade seven at Centro Scheel in January. Become a recurring donor in December and Global Giving will MATCH your donation - going even further to making Silver´s dream a reality. This month YOU could make a difference in the life of a young boy – the time to act is NOW.

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Nov 21, 2012

Donate today and save the life of a baby at Casa Jackson!

Gerson David nearly died of pneumonia
Gerson David nearly died of pneumonia

Baby Gerson was born on March 16, 2011 and arrived into this world with relatively few complications. Unfortunately, given the circumstances in which his family was struggling to survive, Gerson faced many obstacles from the very beginning.

Gerson is one of nine siblings living in the home of his parents, Manuela and Manuel. Modest does not begin to describe the one room shack where the entire family of 11 resides –two beds, a dirt floor, walls made of scrap metal and held together with pieces of garbage that the children have salvaged from the fields. Ten days after Gerson was born, Manuela returned to picking peas with her husband. With a monthly household income of barely 100USD, missing just one day of work in the fields meant an even greater struggle to put food on the table.

Shortly after Manuela returned to the fields, Gerson came down with a cough. Manuela and Manuel took him to a local clinic and he was given medicine, but a number of days passed and he was still unable to shake it. His condition worsened and they took Gerson to a hospital in a nearby community where he was hospitalized for eight days with pneumonia. He managed to recover from the pneumonia, but the struggle left Gerson incredibly weak. He was sent home and prescribed vitamins, but they did little to give the baby more energy. Upon returning home to less than acceptable living conditions, Gerson came down with a fever, his cough returned, and a more serious case of pneumonia took hold of his fragile little body.

Manuela and Manuel did not know what to do – they went hungry so that their nine children could eat. Their wages would never be sufficient to cover the costs of Gerson´s recovery in a hospital, but they knew if he stayed in the home he would not survive. A family member had taken her baby to Casa Jackson and following her advice, Manuela and Manuel arrived at the front steps of our hospital for malnourished infants. His situation was very grave and with the help of our pediatrician, Gerson was hospitalized in nearby Antigua. He spent 17 days in the hospital, the doctors skeptical that he would even survive. His condition eventually stabilized and he was sent back to Casa Jackson to gain weight, improve nutrition, and foster his development.

Gerson came to Casa Jackson as little more than a skeleton, but he returned home as a healthy baby boy with a real chance at living a full life. His fighting spirit and will to survive carried him through this difficult time and even after everything he has lived, his smile still lights up the room. Casa Jackson exists because of the generous support of our benefactors. Casa Jackson continues to save the lives of babies just like Gerson because of the generous donations we receive from people like YOU.

Rescue a malnourished baby TODAY – donate to Casa Jackson and help save Guatemala´s most precious resource.

Gerson arrived at Casa as a skeleton
Gerson arrived at Casa as a skeleton
Manuel, Gersons father visited frequently
Manuel, Gersons father visited frequently
With much love and care, Gerson began to recover
With much love and care, Gerson began to recover
Baby Gerson happy and healthy!
Baby Gerson happy and healthy!
Mother, father, and baby Gerson ready to go home!
Mother, father, and baby Gerson ready to go home!

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