At Casa Jackson on the 20th of January we had a new visitor. 1-year-old Alejandra arrived severely malnourished and in desperate need of the medicine and nutrition we provide to help our most vulnerable baby-patients to recover.
At first it seemed that Alejandra’s case was a case similar to many others that we have in Casa Jackson. She was referred by the health centre of Escuintla and was due to arrive with her mother, María. When they arrived, however, we realised that Alejandra’s and her mother’s case was very different indeed.
María arrived at Casa Jackson aged just 15 years old, far too young to be a mother. Instead of playing with dolls she has a real life baby to look after. She was accompanied by her grandmother who told us that the father of María’s baby is María’s own stepfather, who had abused María on numerous occasions. María’s mother, instead of protecting her daughter, had decided that she wanted to continue living with her husband and left María and Alejandra in the care of their grandmother.
In Guatemala the abuse and rape of some minors is an all-too-real fact of life. The people who carry out these disgusting actions should rightly be pursued by the law, but unfortunately that often does not come to pass. It was María’s mother who needed to file an official complaint in this case but she decided not to in order to protect her husband. Not only did this leave María unprotected but also meant that other young girls in the area where the family live do not know the risk that they might be under.
María’s grandmother told us that eventually she had filed the complaint with the PGN (Guatemalan Social Services) but was yet to hear a response. Asociación Nuestros Ahijados will be taking on the case through our legal department to pursue the people involved to the full extent of the law. We will continue to work for the most vulnerable members of our Guatemalan society and do our all to protect the children who are most at-risk.
The GOD’S CHILD Project and ITEMP have been working for 30 years to break the chains of poverty and slavery through education, housing and healthcare as well as direct intervention. Please click the link below to donate to support us in our ongoing mission.