Apr 1, 2021

Report March 2021

We hope this message finds you well and that you are handling these uncertain times as  good as possible.

From Hogar de Cristo we wanted to let you know our current situation of our organization in Chile and how we have been carrying out our project focused on Elderly and COVID-19.  

During all these months of anguish, older adults are on the list of those who have had the worst time. Those who should be at the center, protected by a society that values them rather than being isolated, mired in hopelessness and depression.

Although in Chile mortality among the elderly has not reached the levels of other countries, almost 85% of those killed by COVID-19 are over 60 years old. Vulnerability in older people is not only a direct result of age, but it is explained by the accumulation of biological, social and economic factors during their lives. The deterioration in functioning and capacities is not always the same, but without a doubt the conditions of deterioration are accentuated in those most vulnerable.

Long quarantines have wreaked havoc on this population. Not only in patients with Alzheimer's type dementias, who have worsened between 20 to 30% psychiatric symptoms associated with this ailment, such as apathy, depression and anxiety, but in all those who have some cognitive impairment. Furthermore, 25% of older adults in Chile have some symptoms of depression, which is not diagnosed in more than half of the cases and, therefore, is not treated. Imagining what happens to them when they are locked up, alone, with calls that do not even come close to hugs, is tremendous. Physically, being reduced inside a house impacts on the loss of muscle mass, favoring falls and the consequent fractures.

In the face of this worrying picture, Hogar de Cristo has acted, keeping most of its centers open and adapting its activity to this new reality. As of March 2020, all Hogar de Cristo hostels went into quarantine and operated 24 × 7 for those who agreed to stay in them. This measure lasted until September, a month in which, according to the measures of the government's Step by Step Plan, it became more flexible in the different regions.

Moreover, we have started an agreement with the Autonomous University of Chile that has allowed us to serve dozens of users of the In-Home Care Program, receiving free sessions from professionals from the Occupational Therapy career. During each session, older adults are assisted through a video call by an intern and a career guide teacher, who help them to reinforce the tasks that are most difficult for them to perform. The sessions are carried out through cell phone video calls, which has meant a challenge for those older adults who do not have the necessary technology to carry them out. Given this, our social technicians must go to their homes and establish the connection with the students in practice through their phones.

In addition, thanks to new agreements, we have been able to provide wheelchairs, walking sticks  and other technical aids to solve their physical disability problems, improving the quality of life of older adults considerably.

Finally, this year began with great hope thanks to the start of the vaccination against COVID-19 in our centers. to this date, the great majority of Elderly and our staff have been vaccinated. 

We have been able to achieve this transformation because of your support. We believe that older people are subjects of rights, not of charity, protection or paternalistic or falsely tender treatment, which is nothing other than ageism: that is, contempt for the elderly. Your contribution has meant being able to continue providing support to hundreds of older people throughout the country. We really thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help that is giving hope and quality of life to many elderlies.

 

Mar 30, 2021

Report March 2021

We hope this message finds you well and that you are handling these uncertain times as  good as possible.

From Hogar de Cristo we wanted to let you know our current situation of our organization in Chile and how we have been carrying out our project focused on young mothers.

As you may already know, in Chile, more than 200,000 children and young people are outside the educational system. With the current health crisis this number will surely increase. Women drop out less, but when they do, they don't return. School exclusion is much more damaging and limiting future opportunities for girls and young women since they tend to stay at home, sacrificing their right to education, taking care of housework, younger siblings or an older or disabled relative , so that adults can go out and generate income. For the most part, it is the issue of caring for others that is behind female dropping out of school, which includes that of their own babies, in the case of teenage pregnancies. And although these have been decreasing in recent years, according to 2018 figures, 50% of pregnant schoolchildren do not continue studying.

Gender inequality is then expressed in this fundamental right -education-, which is also key for the promotion of people and so that poverty does not continue to reproduce inter-generationally, from grandmothers to mothers and from mothers to daughters. In Chile, three-quarters of those who neither study nor work are women. Apart from that, only 48% of women participate in the labor market and, on average, receive 25% lower remuneration compared to men. Although there are several factors that influence this gender inequality, one of the most influencing is the educational system.

Due to the pandemic, education became much more complex than usual. In Chile, Face-to-face education has not returned. Furthermore, the country is facing a new wave with new communities in quarantines.

Our students have needed more emotional support than ever. They have shown how much they miss the protective space of the school and we have responded with constant monitoring online, giving distance classes through our Virtual Learning Classrooms and creating new workshops to motivate them and continue teaching. We never lost contact with them. These new learning experiences are now a successful reality. Young mothers are super grateful, they perceive us as a recess from everything bad. For them it is a moment of relaxation, a space for personal and group care. We work with a wide variety of topics, topics that they themselves raised with their tutors that we later transformed into new workshops.

We have been able to achieve this transformation because of your support. Your contribution has meant being able to continue providing quality education to hundreds of young mothers throughout the country. We work so that many more can complete their educational careers and their personal dreams, without sexist barriers or economic, social, cultural limitations. So that the "intersectionality" of their disadvantages: being a woman, a mother, vulnerable, part of an indigenous minority, living in a rural sector, do not become the sum of all evils. We really thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help that is giving hope and a future to so many young people.

Mar 29, 2021

Report March 2021

We hope this message finds you well and that you are handling these uncertain times as good as possible.

From Hogar de Cristo we wanted to let you know our current situation of our organization in Chile and how we have been carrying out our project focused on young students.

As you may already know, in Chile, more than 200,000 children and young people are outside the educational system. With the current health crisis this number will surely increase. Education became much more complex than usual. Many young people were already being excluded from the system but the pandemic  has widened the educational, economic, and social gaps.

Face-to-face education in Chile is still not a reality due to the pandemic and in fact the country is in a new wave, with many communities in new quarantines.

Our students have needed more emotional support than ever. They have shown how much they miss the protective space of the school and we have responded with constant monitoring online, giving distance classes through our Virtual Learning Classrooms and creating new workshops to motivate them and continue teaching. We never lost contact with them. We made a diagnosis and found them with many uncertainties, anxiety and demotivation. There were many who said: "I'm locked up, they won't let me out." It happened that they began to miss the classroom, the school, the classmates, the teachers. Before the pandemic, everyone wanted to be out of school, they did not like the norms very much, the rules, but this crisis came to show that education, educational establishments, are a very important linking element in them. When one hears as a cliché that the school is the second family, it became real because that is where young people receive a lot of support; there were links that they began to miss.

In this time of pandemic, we discovered that we could not deliver certainty to young people or their families. We couldn't tell him this was going to end tomorrow, because no one knew anything anyway. And here we adopt a phrase: "The opposite of uncertainty is not certainty, but it is the community, it is living it together." That was a super important discovery because at the youth and team level we concluded by doing group activities that are not only to know how they are or what they need, but so that they could collaborate mutually, get to know each other and accompany each other. Young people have given us a lot and made us understand and learn about resilience. When everything seemed lost, with an uncertainty that at the beginning was very powerful and we figuring out what we could do from our computers, which seemed impossible, we began to see that we could overcome this uncertainty together. It was an invitation to be united, there was no reason to be alone.

Virtual Learning Classrooms and online workshops and are now a successful reality. Young people are super grateful, they perceive us as a recess from everything bad. For them it is a moment of relaxation, a space for personal and group care. We work with a wide variety of topics, topics that they themselves raised with their tutors that we later transformed into new workshops.

We have been able to achieve this transformation because of your support. Your contribution has meant being able to continue providing quality education to thousands of young people throughout the country. We really thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help that is giving hope and a future to so many young people.

 
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