Break the Chains of Slavery

by The GOD'S CHILD Project
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Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery
Break the Chains of Slavery

 

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.

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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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Julián had always dreamed of becoming a fireman so at 11 years old he went with his step-father to see if there was a way that he could become involved at his local volunteer fire station. The fire chief decided to let Julián observe the work and trainings that the firemen did at the station but warned that he was too young to go out on emergency calls. Julián was excited about this new opportunity to learn more about his dream job. One evening while Julián was at the station there was an emergency call and all of the firemen were called out to the scene except for the operator who stayed back with Julian. The operator took advantage of this time alone with Julián and forced him to have oral sex with him, raped him and then threatened to kill Julián's mother or hurt his family if he told anyone. This happened several times and on the third occasion Julián was able to defend himself and escape and this time he told his mother and step-father what had happened to him.

Julián was greatly affected by these terrible events and came to the psychologist at the GOD'S CHILD Project in Guatemala seeking help. Our psychologist immediately began to provide him with the support that he needed to overcome the trauma he had suffered and our lawyer stepped in to help Julián and his mother file a suit against his aggressor. We are currently awaiting the sentencing of the operator and continue to support Julián through counseling.

Julián's dreams of becoming a fireman were cut short however he still dreams of helping, healing and saving others. Through our legal and psychological support ITEMP is encouraging Julián to keep fighting and to reach for his dreams. 

Please help us continue to support Julián and other victims of abuse and human trafficking. Your donation, no matter the size, will make a big difference in the life of a child who is suffering from abuse, exploitation or human trafficking.  

With gratitude,

Rina Lazo
Director of Benefactor Services

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Child abuse is all too common in Guatemala with the majority of children being abused by a family member and most of them in their own homes. The GOD’S CHILD Project works to protect these children from their abusers and has seen over 100 cases of child abuse just this year. Saraí is just one of the children that we have protected and are helping to give a brighter future to.

Saraí is a sweet 11 year old girl from San Pedro las Huertas just a few minutes’ drive from Antigua, Guatemala. Unfortunately Saraí’s life was marked be abuse even before she was born. Saraí's mother, Rosa, was physically abused by her parents and forced to work at a very young age. Lacking love and affection from her family she decided to look elsewhere and found it with a neighbor. He took advantage of her vulnerability and sexually abused her on numerous occasions. Despite the abuse Rosa stayed with him and they formed a family together. Over the years Rosa had two boys and one girl, Saraí.

When Saraí was 9 years old her father began to abuse her sexually as well. Rosa realized what was happening and decided that she didn’t want her daughter to suffer what she had gone through. Although she was very afraid she came to the GOD’S CHILD Project for help. ITEMP took over the case and reported it to the authorities who took him into custody. He is currently in jail waiting for sentencing to see how many years he will serve.

Saraí currently attends the Dreamer Center (a GOD’S CHILD Project funded elementary school) and she and her brothers also receive psychological support to overcome the trauma they suffered at the hands of their father. The family also receives food, clothes, shoes and other basic necessities. Saraí is a bright girl who is a very talented artist. She is an introvert but likes to go to school and is on time and very respectful. She dreams of becoming an artist.

Thanks to supporters like you, Saraí is now able to attend school without the fear of what her father will do to her when she goes home. Instead she can now do her homework, play with her brothers or work on her latest masterpiece. Please join us in giving Saraí and others like her the chance to be children again. Your donation, no matter the size, will make a big difference in the life of a child who is suffering from abuse, exploitation or human trafficking. 

With Gratitude,

Rina Lazo
Director of Benefactor Services

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Vilma is a sweet 10 year old girl studying at the Dreamer Center School, which is funded by The GOD’S CHILD Project. She is in 4th grade and at her young age Vilma has already suffered a great deal and has been a victim of poverty and inadequate living conditions, which no child deserves.  Despite of all of her problems Vilma is fighting to move forward and break the bitter chains of poverty through education.

Vilma’s father was in jail for 3 years for sexual aggression towards one of his nephews.  When he was released from jail, he moved back home with his wife and 4 children.  Vilma´s parents earned little income which made it difficult for them to provide their children with proper housing. They lived in one room in poor conditions and all shared one bed. After seeing the family’s need the GOD’S CHILD Project, with the help of a volunteer Service Team, built a home for the family with bunk beds so that each child could sleep in their own bed.

Knowing Vilma’s situation the school psychologist started to see her in order to learn more about her family and help her deal with her family situation.  During one of her sessions with the psychologist, Vilma began to talk about how her father would touch her inappropriately and once the school psychologist learned that Vilma was being sexually abused by her father her case was turned over to ITEMP.

ITEMP notified the authorities so that they could begin an investigation and the father was immediately removed from Vilma’s home to protect her and her siblings.   They still live together with their mother but Vilma and her siblings no longer fear their father and what he might do to them. Vilma continues to do well in school and takes advantage of the free psychological care that the GOD’S CHILD Project has to offer to help her overcome her past and look forward to a brighter future.

Thanks to donors like you we are able to fight for justice and start the healing process for Vilma and other victims of abuse and human trafficking. Please consider continuing your support for ITEMP by making another donation or sharing this story with your friends and family.

 

Thank you for your continued support of ITEMP!

 

RinaLazo

Director of Donations

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Organization Information

The GOD'S CHILD Project

Location: Bismarck, ND - USA
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Project Leader:
RINA LAZO
Director of Benefactor Services
Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Guatemala
$46,903 raised of $70,000 goal
 
811 donations
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