The GOD'S CHILD Project

The GOD'S CHILD Project's mission is "to break the bitter chains of poverty through education and formation." While GOD'S CHILD is rooted in education and health-care, 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. Religious affiliation is not a requirement for any program services.
Feb 3, 2016

The first field clinic of 2016!

Hello friends and supporters of our micro project 'Restoring health to 5 villages in Guatemala'! 

I am very excited to tell you that due your generosity we have officially raised enough funds to start planning the first two field clinics of 2016! The first one has officially been scheduled for February 24th! During this half-day field clinic we are expecting to see over 50 children along with their parents.  

For the children in the communities, our main objective is to make sure that they are healthy and developing appropriately for their ages. To do this the clinic staff will weigh each child along with take their height and give them a general check up.

As for the adults who attend the field clinic, their health is also very important to us, we will take their blood pressure and give them a complete check up.  Through detecting illnesses early within the parents we are also helping the community be able to provide their children with the opportunities to exceed their current situations through their constant support. 

If there are any health problems detected, and need to be taken care of or addressed further by our medical team the children and parents will be invited to our clinics at the Dreamer Center. Once they become a patient within our clinics they will be able to receive more intimate care by our medical providers.  This is especially important for the infants and young children throughout the communities surrounding Antigua.  

We here at The GOD'S CHILD Project and Casa Jackson are so excited for these field clinics, and we extend a huge thank you to each of you who have helped make this project possible. After the field clinic this month we will also be providing you with the results and pictures. Until then, thank you for your constant support, and please consider talking about us with your family and friends.   



Melissa Schroden
Director of Donations and Special Opportunities


Jan 12, 2016

Manuel's dream of paying it forward

Manuel helping around his local community.
Manuel helping around his local community.

Dear Supporter of The GOD’S CHILD Project in El Salvador,

Through your constant support and dedication to our work with the families in Guazapa, El Salvador, we are happy to report that our students are achieving successes that even we couldn’t have imagined 25 years ago. 

Let me tell you about Manuel, a young man who has now decided to pay it forward to the rest of the children in his community.

Manuel’s family has been a part of The GOD’S CHILD Project in El Salvador for over 8 years. Throughout this time, he and his sister have taken full advantage of the support they receive each month. From the first day Manuel and his sister joined the program, their family was able to receive a monthly support of rice, beans, clothing, shoes, school supplies, medical support, and—one of the most important things—an education.

Today, this young man has finished his studies at university level, and his younger sister just completed eighth grade. Though she is performing well in her classes, it is important that Manuel continues to support his sister with her homework. Manuel says, “It is a great joy to help her, especially because I am very experienced in some subjects.”

With the help of The GOD’S CHILD Project, this 23-year-old man has achieved one of his life’s greatest successes. In November, Manuel received the title of Professor of Secondary Education, specializing in mathematics. He achieved this success through many years of hard work and a determination to be able to help many more students in his community.

Many of the mothers in the community are very proud of his accomplishments, because Manuel has instilled a fire of knowledge in many of their children. His success has motivated them to work to achieve something with their lives, starting with a good education.

Manuel’s mother is exceptionally grateful for the support they have received from The GOD’S CHILD Project saying, “Without the help we received for school and our household needs, Manuel would have had a very difficult life, full of problems due to not having an education. Now he has been able to reach one of his dreams. I am so happy to see his success and happiness as he looks forward to the days of helping the younger kids in our community.”  

Please help us continue helping children like Manuel achieve their dreams. Your generous contribution today will help us make a difference for the children of El Salvador.

Please, consider sharing this story of Manuel and how he is paying it forward to your family and friends. May it warm their hearts as it has yours.  As each student grows, learns, and comes to believe that their dreams are possible, together we are breaking the chains of poverty, one child at a time.

Blessings to you in this new year,

 Melissa Schroden
Director of Special Opportunities


Dec 17, 2015

The search for Karen

Dear Friends and Supporters of ITEMP,

Thank you for your past support of the Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons (ITEMP). Without people like you we could not fight human trafficking and child labor in Guatemala and around the world. Your support not only helps us to prevent human trafficking and exploitation, but also helps us to rescue and provide rehabilitation to trafficking victims.Your generous contribution allows us to help many different types of victims - including Karen, who we are trying to save from the vicious cycle of human trafficking.

Let me tell you the story about our current plea for help from Karen’s mother and how we are doing everything we can to bring her home safely.   


The day was sunny and the weather perfect last week when Patrick walked into the Project’s Dreamer Center.  It was only eight o’clock, yet already a line was forming outside the Atkinson Family Clinics, which open at nine. 

The day changed dramatically when Patrick rounded the corner at the bottom of the ramp that brings you in to the Dreamer Center.  There he found Maria standing surrounded by several of our volunteers and team members.   When she saw him she shouted out, “Ai, Patricio” and began to cry.

Maria dates back to the earliest months of 1991, when The GOD’S CHILD Project was born. She and Patrick met in Guatemala City, where he would walk the streets of the Zona 5 slums, looking for the boys and girls who had written and asked him to return to Guatemala, and help them again.  One of these boys was now a street hardened gang member named Walter Luna.  Living with him on the streets was Maria's 12-year old son, Danny. The GOD'S CHILD Project and ITEMP got Danny off the streets and into school. Since then, Maria and The GOD’S CHILD Project have also gotten six of her other children through school.

Wading through Maria's tears and screams, Patrick put his arm over her shoulder and walked her to a bench that sits among the bushes under the wall.  He already knew that her youngest daughter, Karen, had been taken three months ago and Maria didn’t know where Karen had gone. 

Patrick also knew that Karen was developmentally challenged and had gone to a special education school in Guatemala City.  “She’s a physically beautiful child,” Maria always says, “However; her ability to reason and care for herself just isn’t there.”

Karen called me last night, Maria said through her tears.  She said she had been tricked into going with a woman, and that she was in the United States. Now she wants to come home. 

Being the practical guy that Patrick is, he dove into trying to get as many details from Maria as he possibly could.  From what city did Karen call?  Was there a phone number for her?  Most importantly, how was Karen doing?

Shooing away the school children who were coming close because they either wanted to say ‘hi’ or they wanted to see why this woman under his arm was crying, Patrick told Maria that he had lots of friends in the FBI and who worked as police. All we need is a phone number, a name, a city, and we will bring Karen home.

"Karen didn’t know where she was," Maria told him through her tears, "and she didn’t know her address or phone number. She had found some money and paid someone to let her make a phone call… the way we do it here in Guatemala… and all she said was that someone tricked her and she wants to come home.” 

Having nothing more to learn, Patrick gave Maria his home and cell phone numbers, and made her promise to call him the instant Karen called again.  He taught her how to retrieve an incoming number, and made her swear that she would get as much information from Karen as she could.  Patrick reassured her, “If we get anything solid, I’ll be on a plane to that city tomorrow.”

As of today, Karen is still missing and living somewhere in the United States.  She hasn’t called back, and her mother struggles to sleep at night.  To be honest, we find ourselves thinking about Karen too, wondering, listening, trying to hear if we can learn where she is.

Please say a special prayer for Karen tonight before you go to bed.  She is out there somewhere.  The GOD’S CHILD Project is doing all we can to bring her home.  Your love, prayers, and financial support are what make it all possible.

Please join us in finding Karen, and other children like her who have been tricked into leaving their homes and trafficked around the world. Every child we rescue and provide with an education helps us move towards breaking the bitter chains of slavery and poverty for their families, giving them hope for a brighter future. 


Melissa Schroden
Special Opportunities Coordinator
The GOD’S CHILD Project | ITEMP (Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons)
“Breaking the chains of poverty through education and formation”
Guatemala | El Salvador | Malawi | India | United States                       


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