Break the Chains of Slavery

by The GOD'S CHILD Project Vetted since 2010 Top Ranked Site Visit Verified

In 2009, the San Juan Alotenango dumpster was visited, it was there where this family met, it was observed that the children of the lady were helping to collect plastics there in the dumpster, because they worked there, the children. They had enough respiratory problems. They have had to work since the father died because he consumed alcohol.

They are originally from Sacatepéquez and the mother had to get ahead with her children working in the dumpster, the lady said that what worried her most were the people she worked with, since the place was dangerous enough for girls like her daughters be there

After knowing what the girls' lives were like, the US State Department, together with Asociación Nuestros Ahijados, began to support this family, the end of which was that both the women and the girls would no longer continue to collect garbage and they had the opportunity to study.

They studied at the Scheel Technical Educational Center of Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados and the mother no longer needs to go to the dump, the family's life has changed a lot since the services they have had have been enough, the girls have had the opportunity to receive psychological, medical, dental, clothing and shoes support as well as other family members, the mother was attending literacy classes.

Currently they receive the same benefits and they are also being supported with legal advice, since the daughter who is 17 years old, had problems with the mother and they entered her into a home, but with the support of the Legal Department the lady is already living again with the breast.

The lady is very grateful for the support that is being offered, this because she has been able to notice the change that her children have had and the desire with which her daughters live day by day.

Leticia is a 20-year-old lady, her life changed from the moment she was the victim of a kidnapping, the mother says that together with her husband they have tried to give their children the best, the family is very poor, the father works selling ceviches and the income he has is not very good, the mother works as a house maid but does not have regular income.

 After the young lady was kidnapped she suffered psychological problems and had a low self-esteem, for a long time she did not want to leave her room; It was thus that the ITEMP program began to support the young lady, the first thing she needed was psychological support which was provided to her, when the young lady entered the program, she was given medical exams, she was given clothes and she was supported with housing and education expenses.

 She was not studying because at school she was expelled because she missed a lot of school, but this year 2018 the young lady decided to return school, currently she is studying the seventh grade at an Institute in Masagua, Escuintla, she manages to redo his life with his partner, from this relationship a child was born and now he is four years old, her partner has an income of Q.800.00 being a Sports Teacher. She continues being part of the Asociación Nuestros Ahijados program by receiving vegetables, clothing and psychology help.

 She is very happy to continue receiving the benefits of Asociación Nuestros Ahijados and she wants to graduate from school and to give a better life to her son.

The lady is from Jutiapa and had been living in Antigua for ten years; she came to work because in her land there were no opportunities for her.  Her husband died in a criminal act and leaving four girls and the widow lady. After these unfortunate events, the mother found a job, doing domestic chores, but the money she was earning was only to cover the expenses required in the family, especially because they were constantly getting sick.

In 2015, she met a man with whom she started to live, he seemed to have good intentions with the family and even lived with them for a year. However, after that time, everything changed.  One day he decided that was going to take the old girl for a walk, but what he really wanted to do is to sell her as a sexual object to his friends and make money with that.  In addition to that, he threatened the girl that he was going to kill her and her family if she said something of what he was doing.

The mother was not aware of this, but that sudden change of attitude in her daughter convinced her that something was happening so she looked for psychological help at Nuestros Ahijados, which, after some therapies, the girl expressed the situation that she went through, and how during the weekends the stepfather took advantage of her to abuse and to collect money with his friends. Faced with this situation, the legal area decided to support the woman and the family, denouncing to the authorities and immediately assisting the girls, who were also vulnerable to the man.

The man was arrested and prosecuted by the authorities; in addition he was accused for being sexually exploiting other people and for belonging to the criminal group that is dedicated to the trafficking of people operating in the area. Nuestros Ahijados is constantly helping the family with physiological therapies and the mother is attending the “Mother’s Club” to receive all kind of help, such a workshops, food, health, orientation, clothing and any other kind of help they may need.

Although the damage caused by the stepfather was very big and almost irreparable, Nuestros Ahijados, is always trying to redo the mental well-being of all of them, and providing all possible support and opportunities to grow as people and professionals, so that in the future, especially girls, they can be independent women and that they can overcome this fact that they have lived.

 

FOLLOWING THEIR DREAMS

The family is from Nebaj, Quiché.  They are the father, three boys and one girl. They have been living in Antigua Guatemala for three years because the father came to find a better job opportunity.  The father had no education because he only had the option of working as a farmer.  Unfortunately the mother was engaged in prostitution and children suffered both physical and emotional abuse because she used to have sex with different men in front to his children.

When the father knew about this situation he decided to leave the home; when the mother realized that he was leaving her with the children she reported to authorities that the husband beat her a lot and did not take care of her children. All this came to the court to be able to solve this problem in the best way, the children declared that the mother beat them a lot and that was the reason why they wanted to stay with the father. The judge gave custody of the children to the father, under the terms of not approaching to the wife to avoid harm to the children; that is how they ended up living in Antigua.

With just a few of their personal things they managed to build a house with old metal sheets and most of the house was covered with nylon so they don’t get cold, even when it is not enough to prevent this from rain, when it rains the small space in which they live is filled with mud. They don’t have water or electricity because of all this situation the children don’t have a proper personal cleanliness and the water they drink is not drinking water; besides that the land in which they live is not from its own and they are only the guardians.  They live with the fear that the owner at any time pulls them out of this place.

Since the day they arrived at the Asociación Nuestros Ahijados de Guatemala, the first thing that they received was legal aid to follow up on the court's opinion, fulfilling the activities assigned as having a safe place to live, children needed to study, receive food and psychological assistance.  For that reason the children received the opportunity to study at the Dreamer Center, in order to receive education and food.  They also received the opportunity of having a sponsor to support them.

Other benefit that children will have through Asociación Nuestros Ahijados is the construction of a house and the installation of electricity to improve their living conditions.  They are very grateful for all the support received because it wouldn’t be possible for them to follow their dreams and desire to continue studying.

A DARK PAST… A BRIGHTER FUTURE

The three children are originally from Nebaj, department of Quiché.  They used to live with their mother, who was a single mother because she had problems and many disagreements and he decided to abandon them.   The mother began to work making tortillas trying to bring the necessary to feed her children and to survive day by day.

The mother, most of the time, was going out with her friends, having fun and going to parties every night.   She wasn’t taking care of her children as she should and worst wasn’t giving a good example to them; she was even bringing estrangers to her house and doing indecent acts without caring that the children where there and could see and listen to everything she was doing.

Despite their young ages the mother left them locked in the house during the day; without enough food or water, because she was all day out working at the tortillas place.  The house where they were living was made of metal sheets and the heat in that place was unbearable.  For the winter season when it rained, the house was almost all the time flooded.

Some neighbors noticed this fact and decided to contact the father of the family to whom they knew him; the father, upon learning of this, went to the local authorities to save his children from the bad treatment they were under the mother’s care.  The authorities arrived at the house where the children were locked, crying and dirty and with obvious signs of physical maltreatment and malnutrition. The custody was given temporarily to the father and was withdrawn from the mother.

Despite his lack of economical resources, the father found a temporary place to live in Antigua Guatemala, where he took his children to live and protect them.

While doing home visits, the Social Workers of Asociación Nuestros Ahijados de Guatemala found the children and asked them about their family.  They talked about what had happened to them and how they ended up living with their father.  Immediately were referred to the offices and they started to receive support from the Project.

The father had no knowledge of laws and didn’t know how to handle the total custody of his children.  He didn’t have idea of how to support them with education, since he never had the opportunity to study.  Asociación Nuestros Ahijados provided them with Legal, Medical, Psychological and Education assistance.

The authorities conditioned the father by telling him that he could obtain a full custody of the children if he provides them with a better home and education.  If he doesn’t give that to the children, they will be taken away and send them to a foster home. 

Currently, the children are studying at the Scheel Center, and one of them, the smallest, is studying at the Dreamer Center. They are receiving food, clothes, shoes and the most important thing, they are receiving education.  They also will be receiving a house building to improve their living conditions.  Now these children can aspire to a much better life and can overcome from both physical and emotional problems, receiving and integrated support from Asociación Nuestros Ahijados.

 

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Organization Information

The GOD'S CHILD Project

Location: Bismarck, ND - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.godschild.org
Project Leader:
Rina Lazo
Director of Benefactor Services
Antigua, Sacatepequez Guatemala
$37,419 raised of $70,000 goal
 
684 donations
$32,581 to go
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