Magda* is 8 years old and is from Masagua, Escuintla. Her parents never had the chance to go to school because they had to work as children to help support their families. There used to be 15 people in Magda’s family however due to different circumstances 5 of her siblings passed away and 2 have started their own families so now she just lives with her parents and 5 siblings.
The family lived on a plantation called El Socorro in Masagua for 30 years. Five years ago they decided to move to their current home. Upon moving there they realized that to earn money they needed to collect recyclables from the municipal dump of Escuintla.
There Magda, her parents and her sisters picked out recyclable material from the garbage since they were only able to earn enough to put food on the table if all of them were working. The girls were never able to go to school because they had to work. Magda worked from 9 to 5 every day and earned Q40 a day which she gave to her mother. Magda and her sisters collected cans and sold them in the dump.
ITEMP found out about the case and Magda and her sisters were entered into the program so that they could quit working in the dump and get the education that they need so that when they grow up they can have a job with a decent wage. They were also given economical support, clothes, shoes, psychological care and medical exams. The mother was given the opportunity to take jewelry-making and literacy classes. Magda and her sisters want to continue in school and help their parents get out of poverty. Magda´s mom is very thankful for the help that ITEMP has provided her family with.
*Name has been changed to protect the child's identity
This child was brought into the ITEMP program at the end of 2010. He is originally from Guatemala City and comes from a broken home where his parents beat him and treated him poorly due to their alcohol problems. The mother abandoned the home because her husband had an accident which made it difficult for him to work since he was only able to get around in a wheelchair. Due to the separation of the parents no one took responsibility for the children and they went to live with an aunt.
Because of the aunt´s lack of income she asked the children to wash clothes for other people to earn some extra income. As the days went by the aunt began to change. She treated her nieces and nephews poorly, especially this boy who she physically and verbally abused. He worked as a mechanic to help earn more income for the family.
He is currently living in Chimaltenango with his father, sisters and brothers-in-law. He received help from ITEMP including clothes, shoes, educational support, medical treatment and economic support. He also helps his brothers-in-law fixing motorcycles and cars because he has liked working on vehicles since he was little.
The boy´s father has changed quite a bit after his accident and is grateful for the God´s Child Project and all of the support that we have provided for his son when he couldn´t provide for him. The boy is now in 5th grade and hopes to continue to improve his life.
She is a young woman that has had a life that no one would ever want. She came to the ITEMP program because she was sexually abused as a child. She says that when she was 7 years old her mother sold her to a 52 year old man because they didn´t have enough money. Her mother told her to go with the man and that she would go get her later. Years later her mother sold her again and the man abused her in exchange for money. Unfortunately the problem didn´t end there since, later, one of her step-brothers tried to abuse her.
At her young age she had already suffered a lot. She decided to leave home at the age of 14 because she found a young man who asked her to live with him when she was most vulnerable and in need of love. The only issue was that he already had three children but she didn´t care. All she wanted to do was forget what had happened to her.
She has now lived with that young man for three years. Everything was going well until the middle of 2012 when the young man, who worked as a taxi driver, was shot three times with a firearm. He was left unconscious for several days and unable to move his right arm. After being released from the hospital he was no longer able to work as a taxi driver.
In September of 2012 she entered as the 27th member of the ITEMP program. Upon entering the program she received psychological help, medical exams, shoes and clothes, and also economic help to help cover some costs and she was encouraged to continue her studies. She is very happy living with the young man since he has treated her the way a woman deserves to be treated and she plans to marry him and form a family.
The boy was born in Quiche, a region in Guatemala that is known for being poor. When his father passed away he was only one and he was raised by his mother. The problem for him started when his step-father begain abusing him physically and also verbally. He was just a little boy. When his mother tried to defend him she was also a victim of the violence.
When he descided to leave home he headed to Antigua, Guatemala. He know the city becuase he had been there before with his mother. He had never slept on the streets but had to and he also begged for money to buy food. Someone on the street told him about Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados. We have a shelter for women, children and men who are homeless and need a place to stay. He arrived at our shelter in bad shape and returned night after night. We realiazid he had no where to go so Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados descided to help him but placing him in a foster family home.
When we investigated his life we found out that he changed his name. He did this to become someone else and forget the past. It is very difficult to forget the violence from his past but at least he was safe now.
After putting his in a foster home we descided to put him in out Human Trafficking program so he could receive more help from our progam. We reallocated him to a home in a nearby town and he is going to school. He is happier now and like the family that he is living with. He doesn't need to change his name to hide his life now, that is all now in the past.
Sandra is a Young lady who has had a complicated life in spite of her Young age, she was enrolled in the ITEMP program due to the sexual abuse she had been a victim of since she was a child. Sandra told us when she turned 7 years old her mother sold her with a 52 year old man because the family lacked of resources. Sandra’s mother told her to go with this man and she would pick her up later, she should also do whatever he would ask her to. Some years later the scene got repeated one more time, she was sold one more time for an adult man to abuse from her. Sandra’s problem didn’t quite finish there, sometime after this one of her step brothers tried to abuse from her as well but an uncle of her didn’t let it happen.
What Sandra had gone through affected her physically and psychologically and gave her enough reasons to abandon her house at age 14. When this happened, she met Gabriel. We may say they met in the moment she needed it the most, she needed love and affection so after a while Gabriel proposed her to go live with him. The only inconvenient was that Gabriel was already father of three children but Sandra didn’t care; the only thing she wanted was to leave everything behind and start over with someone she could trust.
Sandra and Gabriel have lived together for two years so far and it hasn’t been easy since they have had to face the economical problems of our country. In the middle of the year 2012, Sandra´s husband was shot three times at work, while driving his tuk-tuk (small cabs used to transport people around) while they tried to steal it from him, he was left unconscious and unable to move his arm for a few days but thanks to Gabriel’s parents they were able to overcome this situation.
During September, Sandra was enrolled as victim #27 of the ITEMP department. When she joined the program she got both medical and psychological assistance as well as clothes and shoes, She was also provided with a small economical support in order to cover some other expenses. She was also encouraged to continue studying.
She is very happy with the lifestyle Gabriel has provided to her because of the fact that he treats her with respect and they are both currently planning to get married in order to start a family of their own.
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