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.
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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Nov 16, 2012

Something To Be Thankful For

photo credit: www.gandhiforchildren.org
photo credit: www.gandhiforchildren.org

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family and to reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. Like many citizens of the first world, you probably have much for which to be thankful. You likely have a family that loves you more than you can imagine, a roof over your head, an education, food to eat, and perhaps most importantly, the freedom to enjoy all of these things.

Having freedom is not something we often actively think about. It’s a default; something we frequently take for granted. For most of us, it’s hard to imagine a life in which we can’t express our opinions openly or choose our elected officials. Harder still is imagining a life in which we are forced daily to work in subhuman conditions without pay, or to submit to the whims of another individual.

As hard as it is to imagine, that’s the reality for an estimated 12.3 million people around the world this Thanksgiving. It has also been a reality for Lucia, a 16 year old girl that we’ve gotten to know at the Institute for Trafficked, Exploited, and Missing Persons. Lucia’s life wasn’t much different from most girls her age. She liked school and enjoyed spending time with her friends. She didn’t have much, but she was determined to succeed and dreamed of becoming a doctor one day. Yet as she was walking home from school one day, her world was turned upside down. A car pulled alongside her and several armed men got out. They pointed their guns at her and told her to get in. As she screamed, they grabbed her and pulled her into the vehicle. Lucia endured weeks of unimaginable abuse at the hands of her captors, a powerful street gang in Guatemala City. She was only let go when the gang leader, who by that time had captured other sex slaves, decided he was through with her.

Thankfully, at ITEMP Lucia is learning to dream again. She has been able to return to school in a safer area. She’s been overcoming her psychological trauma with our counselor, and our legal team is seeking justice for her. As we enjoy the blessings that our freedom affords us this Thanksgiving, we must remember Lucia’s story. And we must also remember those who are still suffering silently, desperately hoping that someone like you will not forget them, that you will fight for their freedom. These people are the victims of child prostitution and sexual exploitation, forced labor, and domestic servitude. If these people have a family, it’s one whose company they’re unable to enjoy. If they’ve a roof over their heads, it’s one that does little to add to their safety. If they have food, it’s food they’ll consume in isolation, without the company of friends and the blessings of a light heart.

Knowing that these people live out their existence in these conditions is just one more reason to be grateful for our own freedom. But the gratitude that we feel for being free should spur us to action. We may not be able to free these people ourselves, but there are things we all can do to help them.

As you give thanks for all the blessings in your life, here are several ways to make a difference this Thanksgiving:

1. Understand the problem of human trafficking. By learning about the dynamics of contemporary slavery, you are becoming part of the solution.

2. Understand where the products you buy come from. Check out the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Encourage companies to investigate and eliminate forced labor from their supply chains and to be transparent with production information.

3. Research human trafficking in your community and write a letter to your local newspaper to raise awareness about the problem.

4. Write to or meet with your local, state, and federal representatives to let them know that you’re concerned about human trafficking in your community. Ask about the steps they’re taking to address the problem in your area.

5. Consider volunteering with an anti-trafficking organization. Help out with awareness raising or victim outreach.

6. Give. The Institute for Trafficked, Exploited, and Missing Persons (ITEMP) works to prevent human trafficking by raising global social awareness about the problem.  We also work to rescue and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking and exploitation. We provide victims with safe places to stay, medical and psychological assistance, social and legal aid, and perhaps most importantly, education.

We need your support now more than ever. Please donate to help those without freedom this Thanksgiving.   

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