Break the Chains of Slavery

by The GOD'S CHILD Project
Vetted
An example of a coffee farmer from Guatemala.
An example of a coffee farmer from Guatemala.

Dear supporters and friends of The GOD'S CHILD Project,

Thank you very much for your continued support and prayers for the children here in Guatemala. Without the constant support of individuals like you we would not be able to help change the lives of children who were once abused, neglected, abandoned, orphaned, or living on the streets of Guatemala, like Angel.

Angel comes from a very poor family. His mother has had to work very hard outside of her home since she was a young girl, first to help support her parent’s family, and now to support Angel and his two older siblings. Angel´s father walked out on them when he found out that his mother was pregnant again, leaving the four of them with very large financial problems and few economic resources.

Silvia, Angel´s grandmother, saw how hard this was on the family and how hard her daughter was struggling to raise her children and provide for them while working hard to keep them as safe as she could.

Silvia quickly became concerned about the welfare of her daughter and three grandchildren ever since her son-in-law left the home. She knows that her daughter does not have the resources to cover the expense of so many children, she had no income. The only money she received was cutting coffee with her two oldest daughters in Escuintla.

The family lived in poor conditions in a house with no beds or running water that had walls made of sugarcane, a roof of old corrigated sheet metal and a dirt floor. The only means that they had to stay warm at night was to sleep close together and cover up with the one thick blanket they owned. Silvia says “I used to just cry at night, worried about them and their safety, I wished I could do more and provide them with a safe warm place to live, but I just didn´t have the resources to help my daughter and her children.”

In the end of 2010 The GOD´S CHILD Project found them and provided them with the construction of a new home. It is a small home but one that provides basic security, and greatly improves the quality of life within the small family. They were also provided quality social services through our social workers including clothing and shoes.

Months later our ITEMP program supported the family by enrolling the youngest child, Angel in school. The program is also providing his family with food, medical attention, and anything else that is necessary for his family to begin to break through the chains of poverty.  

Angel is currently studying at the Technical Education Center Scheel and is in sixth grade. He is a very studious child and likes to support his peers in the classroom. Angel´s sisters are studying at the Municipal School of Alotenango and also work to help the family. Overall this family has greatly improved their quality of life and has overcome academic, economic, and psychological problems together as a family partnered with The GOD´S CHILD Project.

Silvia and the staff at The GOD’ S CHILD Project are all very proud of Angel´s accomplishments and look forward to seeing how quickly he is able to reach his goals throughout his educational endeavors. Silvia said with a huge smile, “though it has been difficult to walk in poverty my whole life, it was even harder to watch my daughter and grandchildren suffer from the same circumstances. I am so happy that they are now doing better and are able to see a future that I only dreamt of. May God bless all of the people who have helped my family and others like mine.”

Please help us continue to support Angel and the other children like him that come to us through the ITEMP program. Your generous contribution today will provide the continued education for the once abandoned children. Also, please consider sharing this story of Angel and how he is overcoming some of life’s greatest challenges and looks to the future with great enthusiasm.  As each child grows, learns, and sees that their dreams are possible we are breaking the chains of poverty, one child at a time.

Many blessings to you and yours,

 

Melissa Schroden

Director of Special Opportunities and Donations

melissa.schroden@anaguatemala.org

Links:

Dear 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 and potential trafficking victims. 

Your generous contribution allows us to help many different types of victims - including Sasha and Lucky, who are now flourishing here in Guatemala.  These two young girls were living with their maternal grandmother when ITEMP rescued them from sexual abuse, which was allowed by their grandmother. Three years ago their mother passed away, and their only option was to move in with their grandmother in Guatemala City. She allowed her partner to have sex with them and some of his friends. 

The girls were rescued by ITEMP and are now receiving all the necessary support by the organization guaranteed by the children’s judge. They are now living with extended family, which have 2 daughters close to their ages that really help them realize what normal family life is like.

Their case is still under investigation in the Public Ministry for the crime of sexual assault, but its legal status and protection has been resolved and the girls are now enjoying all of the ITEMP programs we have to offer. They are receiving the benefits of housing, education, food, counseling, clothing, and most importantly a loving family and emotional stability. 

The road ahead for these two girls is much brighter now that they have become a part of the ITEMP family. Though there will be more struggles as they continue to recover, their spirits are full of joy and excitement for what is to come as they grow up. Sasha says, "I never thought that things would change for me and my sister, but they have, and I am so happy that we are able to be with my aunt and her family, and go to school. I always wanted to study but there were never enough resources to allow it. I am so happy now." 

Sasha and Lucky are just two cases of many that ITEMP has been able to take on, thanks to donors like you. We sincerely thank you for your support.  We hope you will consider sharing stories like Sasha and Lucky in order to help us raise awareness of human trafficking in Guatemala and also show how donors like you can make a difference. 

 

Blessings,

 

 Melissa Schroden
Director of Special Opportunities and Donations
melissa.schroden@anaguatemala.org
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

 

Links:

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.   

 A MOTHER’S HORROR...

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. 


Blessings,


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                       

Links:

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 and potential trafficking victims. 

Your generous contribution allows us to help many different types of victims - including Jose, who is now flourishing here in Guatemala.  Jose is a young man who was able to leave the streets and return to the classroom thanks to supporters of ITEMP like you. Jose comes from a broken home and was just 15 days old when his mother abandoned him and didn’t want anything to do with him. At the same time, Jose’s father decided to travel to the United States to search for better opportunities and left Jose with his sister. Jose's sister did not have the resources to take care of both of them so his grandmother took over and worked very hard to give Jose and his sister a good life.

As the years passed and Jose grew up it became harder and harder for his grandmother to take care of Jose. She could no longer cover all of the costs for the family since she was unable to find stable work due to her age. Jose then decided to study in the mornings and work in the afternoons to help his grandmother support the family. This proved to be very difficult because his classmates made fun of him for working shining shoes.

Jose worked in Antigua, Guatemala’s central park where he met several people older than himself who became negative influences; teaching him to fight and smoke and leading him to other dangerous situations at just thirteen years old. As time went on, Jose still attended school occasionally but he preferred working and paid little attention to his studies. Soon, ITEMP learned about Jose’s case and decided to accept him into the program in order to give him a better quality of life. The first thing that they asked him to do was to quit working and allow the program to help him economically so that Jose could focus on his studies. At first Jose refused to quit working because his grandmother was sick and the family didn’t have enough money to buy her medicine.

ITEMP placed Jose in the Scheel Center Technical Institue so that he could continue his studies in a structured environment. He didn’t like to attend class at first but little by little he got used to his new school and began thriving. In addition to an education, ITEMP also provided medical care and psychological assistance which have helped Jose get where he is today. Jose's grandmother also no longer needs to work because of the economic help that the program has been able to provide. Currently, Jose is 17 years old and will be finishing the 7th grade this year. Thanks to ITEMP and your previous contribution, Jose is no longer exposed to the dangers of working on the streets in Guatemala at such a young and impressionable age and is no longer at-risk of becoming a trafficking victim. Instead, Jose is receiving an education that will help him to find a better paying job when he grows up.

Jose´s case is just one of many that ITEMP has been able to take on thanks to donors like you. ITEMP wants to sincerely thank you for your support of ITEMP. We hope you will consider sharing stories like Jose's in order to help us raise awareness of human trafficking in Guatemala and also share how donors like you can make a difference. 

Kind Regards,

Kendell Martell

Director of Benefactor Services

Asociación Nuestros Ahijados de Guatemala, ONG

Alicia* is from a poor town in the department of Escuintla, Guatemala. She started working from a young age to help her parents so she was never able to go to school. At the age of 9 she went out with her mom to sell tortillas and earn a living. As she got older she noticed that her parents had a hard time finding work and she had to look for work to earn more income for the family.

When Alicia was 14 years old she had traveled to the center of Escuintla and at about 10 in the morning on her way back to her house two men pulled her into a car and drugged her. Alicia doesn’t remember exactly what happened after that. The only thing that she remembers is that after drugging her the men took her to a vacant lot and raped her. When the men were done with her they left her near her house.

When she arrived home her mom asked her what had happened and Alicia was ashamed and didn’t want to tell her what had happened. However, a few hours later she worked up the courage to tell her mom that she had been raped. Alicia´s mom was surprised by what had happened to her daughter but there wasn’t much that they could do about it. Alicia shut herself in the house for several weeks. She didn’t want to leave because the neighbors made fun of her for what had happened to her. ITEMP learned about the case and started to help Alicia. First they made sure she had psychological care and then they took her to be examined by a doctor to make sure she was physically healthy. She was later helped with clothes, shoes and was given some economic help.

Alicia continues to receive medical, psychological and other support from the project. She has a job and helps with the costs at home.

 

*Name changed to protect child’s identity

 

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Organization Information

The GOD'S CHILD Project

Location: Bismarck, ND - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.godschild.org
Project Leader:
Kendell Martell
Antigua, Sacatepequez Guatemala
$34,345 raised of $70,000 goal
 
 
628 donations
$35,655 to go
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