The goal of the Integral Heart Family is to give educational and emotional support to those most in need and who otherwise would not have access to such necessities. But education, without values and morals, aren´t enough for us. This is why today we want to share with all of you the story of Saida.
Saida and her family have been an important part of our foundation since 2010. At the time they were living a very difficult situation, both financially and emotionally. One day Mick and I (Debora) went to visit them at their home and brought Teddy bears for the kids, Saida was 5 and Jose 3. This, for us this was a nice gesture, we didn´t really know that they didn´t have any and that these toys were going to be their board of salvation at times of anxiety, and even domestic violence.
In June of this year, Saida turned 13. Also in June of this year the local volcano, Fuego, erupted. This tragedy killed hundreds of people and left thousands without homes or livelihoods. These families, who lost all their belongings, moved to shelters. As part of the outpouring of support, we were in a position to help them on weekly basis bringing them the basics as they awaited relocations to temporary housing.
Saida has been very involved in our work as her mom is today our social worker and school director. Saida helped us in putting together all the items we send to the shelter we are aiding each week. But in the back of her head she always had the children who lost everything, including their toys.
So for her birthday this year she decided that she didn´t want any gifts, cakes or a party. She remembered when she was a little girl, and life was more difficult for her, how she loved to have that little Teddy bear we gave to her. She would hug it and it became her friend, she felt protected and more comfortable when she could have her arms tightly wrapped around it. That is when she thought that all the kids in the shelter should have one toy each.
She asked all of us for money as her birthday gift, went personally to buy the toys as well as cookies and juices, and delivered them, with help of our staff, to all the kids of the shelter. Even some older women came to ask for some toys for themselves. In her own words, and with tears in her eyes, this was her best birthday ever, one that she will never forget.
We are very proud of her, we couldn´t be prouder. But we also are very proud of our donors who trusted us enough to support our work and make these stories of loving kindness possible. She is a great example of what can be done with a little support and love.
Thank you very much for being part of the family,
With all our love,
The Integral Family in Guatemala.
Monsi is the new addition to our family. She is four years old and has a brother, Andy, who is 8. The two siblings had to move to live to their great grandparents’ home about a month ago. Their mother had to endure difficult circumstances and she was not able to take care of them for a long period of time. Their father is an alcoholic and he is not responsible for the children. Their grandmother didn´t want to have all the responsibility for them, so only the grea- grandparents are taking care of them now.
The great grandparents are both diabetic and retired. They get a little help from the government every month, for both of them it is around $100USD. With that money they have to cover the expenses of their own medicines and to take care of bills and the two children.
Andy spends all day at his school but Monsi had to be at home all time. The great grandparents, due to their age and illness couldn´t really afford or take care energetically of Monsi all day long, every day. They got in touch with us via our socail worker and school director Marisol, to see if we could help them.
Since then Monsi is coming everyday to the school where she plays, eats, learns how to read and write and is carefully taken care of. Since she has been with us, three weeks in total, she gained already three pounds. In addition to our teachers and other students, she is healing on a psychological level from all the issues she has gone through at such a young age.
At the house we make sure that the great grandparents, Monsi and Andy have everything they need to live. They are really happy and grateful with this new opportunity that is opening for them and the future of these two wonderful children.
Thank you very much to all our donors and supporters, our family, who is making possible that many people and families can live with joy, dignity and hope.
All our love to all of you from Guatemala.
The Integral Heart Family
Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life.
Since September of 2017 we have been collaborating with the Guatemalan Human Rights Organizaton (GHR)(Institución para el Procurador de los Derechos Humanos https://www.pdh.org.gt/), a governmental institution that seeks to promote and defend Human Rights in Guatemala.
We have had the pleasure of the full support of Virginia Soledad Pellecer, who is the GHR coordinator and educator for the county of Sacatepequez, where our Integral Heart Family School is located.
She began giving monthly classes at our school last year to the 30 teenagers who attend our Critical-Thinking program. But this year, Virigina is becoming an even greater part of our family. She is coming in now on a weekly basis and teaching not only the teenagers but to the little ones as well. She has also started giving talks to the parents of our students. In these lessons the students are learning to: • develop an understanding of what human rights are • appreciate the relationship between rights and responsibilities • analyze who is responsible for upholding human rights • appreciate the meaning and significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights • apply the concepts of human rights to their own lives
Virginia has told us that she loves coming and we love having her with us. The kids are learning not only about their individual rights but also about their duties towards other people and including animals and the environment. We feel really grateful for this new addition to our Integral Heart Family.
And as always, a big thank you to all who are helping us to create and sustain this environment for growth, respect, education, compassion and sharing.
Without all of you this would never be possible. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!(Please see additional photos before with descriptions)