We at Wasi Esperanza (House of Hope) offer psychological guidance to more than 80 children and teenagers with physical disabilities and their families living in poverty in urban, peri-urban and rural areas in the Ayacucho region. Through individual therapies, workshops with parents, support groups, fraternization activities and home visits, we will be able to promote their mental health, improve their quality of life and empower them to achieve integral rehabilitation and social inclusion.
Ayacucho has a poverty rate of 53% with a low educational level, with strong beliefs and prejudices. Having a disabled child in this situation makes the family an object of discrimination, causing problems of low self-esteem, feelings of guilt, family violence, victimization. The state doesn't prioritize to change this situation. Children with disabilities grow hidden and overprotected with a lack of stimulation, which limits the development of their abilities, preventing their integration.
We evaluate the emotional situation of the parents and plan individual therapy and activities as creating spaces of support to exchange experiences. This helps them to understand and face their situation, improving their self-esteem, achieving acceptance of the disability and create positive environments for parenting. A cognitive and behavioral assessment of each child and a treatment plan is elaborated to improve them using didactic material and other tools.
70% of the beneficiary families we work with will have increased their awareness and empowerment, becoming agents of change, promoting their rights in their direct environment, providing opportunities for the inclusion of children with disabilities. The acceptance of the disability is a beginning for the change that makes the parents create favorable conditions for positive parenting. If we want to improve the children's condition, we need the parents to make the change their mindset.