Sep 4, 2013

Humble Beginnings leading to Brighter Futures

Chente, the youngest of the three, when we first f
Chente, the youngest of the three, when we first f

We hope that this report finds you well in your late summer activities, whether you are enjoying the end of the summer season holidays or continuing on with daily life.

Here in Guatemala we are into the rainy season and thankfully it hasn't been quite mild so far. Though the rain is needed for crops, we are grateful that there haven't been any big storms which can affect our families.

As a supporter of our preschool/kinder program here on GlobalGiving, we would like to update you on some important happenings (and some specific news on Luis, Jimena & Chente in relation to these changes in this program).

First of all, on behalf of the children, their families, the staff and Integral Heart Foundation, we are extremely grateful for your continued support of this program and the kids. As you will see from the photo below, there have been noticeable improvements not only in the interactions of the kids as a result of daily supervision and time with kids their own age, but also in their complexion and energy due to the regular care and nutrition they have been receiving.

The change that is happening this year is that we are integrating the Kindergarten program kids into our Sponsorship Program. In preparation we are also looking at other preschools in the area as options for the parents to send their kids to, if they are willing. Under the supervision of our Program Director, Liz Flinn, we will be maintaining contact with the family of each sponsored child as we do with the other 50 adolescents and children in the Sponsorship Program.

At the second preschool/kinder location, which has been operating since 2011 within one of our partner non-profit locations in San Mateo, the kids there have been integrated into existing programs there and are attending on a daily basis. Again, we will be maintaining regular contact with the families of the individually sponsored children in San Mateo. As these children are set for now with daily care in the local programs, our help continues to be in the form of a monthly food basket, school materials, shoes and medicine as needed for each of their families

And, as many of you will recall, the entire pre-school/Kindergarten program got started with Luisito, Jimena & Chente back in January of 2011 (you can read their story here http://www.integralheartfoundation.org/kindergarten.program.htm). They continue to live in their own house on their  grandparent’s property. They are still attending that local project where they receive at least one meal and one snack per day. So, our direct involvement with them is now based on two things; food and lodging. We, thanks to your support, are able to buy them a monthly food basket and the grandmother, Julia, comes into town so we get a chance to visit with her and see how things are going. The last time we did this, she told us that the kids are doing well and they are always excited when she goes to get the food as she buys the food that they like :). We are also continuing to pay for adult supervision for them during the nights. Jimena & Chente's aunt stays with them in the night.

Thanks so much for your continued support of these three. As you have seen, they have come a long way in their interaction both with kids their own age as well as with adults. They have food, clothes, shelter and most importantly love, which is more than they had when we first met them. Thanks to your involvement we look forward to how they will continue to thrive and do better.

Again we would like to say thanks for your continued support! We can't do what we do without you.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

The IHF team.

Images from our Sponsorship Program this summer -
Images from our Sponsorship Program this summer -
Anival, a gym teacher with the kids for a class
Anival, a gym teacher with the kids for a class

Links:

Aug 27, 2013

Critical-Thinking Program = Fun and Learning in Guatemala

Andrew Cohen speaking to our teens via video-skype
Andrew Cohen speaking to our teens via video-skype

We have had a busy summer here in Guatemala!

Since we began teaching two classes on Wednesday (in the mornings and afternoons) at the new location, that was kindly offered to us by our good friend ‘Pastor’ Mike of Iglesia del Camino, we have maintained a great consistency in our class schedule. Teaching as we did within the public/NGO school system subjected us the many holiday and fiestas that occur here in Guatemala, good for play, not so good for learning and teaching!

We have been working on an Ego/Shadow module with our 32 regularly attending teens this year. We are teaching them to become aware of when an emotion has arisen in their awareness and they are also learning a technique to objectify and dissect the emotion(s) as a precursor to determining whether the emotion is authentic, demanding a response and not a reaction, or a shadow emotion, demanding integration.

Anger is one emotion we dealt with a lot and we even had the teens break into couples and consciously call the voice of anger and act out a little scene in front of the class so that they could practice the objectification and integration techniques. This exercise also shows the students that the main reasons we cite for getting and expressing anger has little to do with external situations, but our very own repressed shadow anger.  

We also had a very special guest give a lecture by video-skype. Andrew Cohen joined us for 90 minutes of q and a on self and Self development. The kids (and we and special invited guests) loved this class and there we many questions asked and answered.

Again, we thank you for your on-going support of this Critical-Thinking Program.

With warmest regards,

Mick, Debora and all the Team at IHF.

Our class kids with Linda Shaw board member
Our class kids with Linda Shaw board member
Faviola from our class who is seeking a sponsor
Faviola from our class who is seeking a sponsor

Links:

Jun 10, 2013

Tots moving up and on!

The core crew at San Mat Kinder!
The core crew at San Mat Kinder!

A big hello to you!

It's hard to imagine, but those of you who are parents know it all too well. They grow and they are suddenly on to the next thing. When Debora and I were approached by the wonderful director of Semilla de Esperanza y Amor, Lys Flores back in 2011 with the idea of helping three tots who were basically abandoned, we thought 'Kindergarten'.

And, with your help over the past 2 years we have provided for these initals three, Luisito, Chente and Jimena. The numbers grew and grew at this location and soon Lys moved it to her new building and with a full time teacher who was paid for by the Integral Heart Foundation a trip to the 'kinder' somedays provided hugs from ten, eleven or even twelve little smiling faces.

As you can see in the photos we also added some kids with disabilities to this program and they have faired really well with all the interactions and play time with their wee peers.

In the other photos you will recognize some of the tots who are now in school uniforms for now they have moved on to first grade. It is sad to see them go but then with all of our help they are a little more prepared.

We would also like to express our great thanks to Lys Flores and all the staff at Semilla de Esperanza y Amor in San Mateo without whom this first kindergarten project would never have been possible.

Again, thank you so much and we look forward to a wonderful future for all.

Tot-peer to Tot-peer love!
Tot-peer to Tot-peer love!
Moving up and on
Moving up and on
 
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