Meet Joi, one of our new students this year. Joi is 4 years old and lives with his mother, Ana, a single mother who suffers from epilepsy. She has attacks twice a month, sometimes more depending on her stress level. Because of her epilepsy, Ana sometimes has to live with her parents so they can take care of her. Ana and Joi no longer live with Joi’s father due to his history of violence, incarceration and substance abuse.
When Joi was born, he was diagnosed as bow-legged. This has limited his normal physical development. Currently, he receives physical therapy twice a week to help correct his condition. They are hopeful that by the time he is 8 or 9 years old, he’ll be able to walk normally.
Ana tells us that the services offered the Acorn Center have greatly helped her and Joi, her only child. Many of the daily educational videos require that the students work together with their parents and Ana tells us that these activities have helped her and Joi connect in new ways and deepen their bond.
Due to the pandemic, Joi has had very little contact with other children. The daily videos help Joi connect with peers by watching each other’s videos and getting to know the other children. It is not the same as in-person socialization, but it has been a big help for him to feel a bit of a connection to other kids during this year.
Also due to the pandemic, Ana is currently unemployed and she and Joi depend on the weekly food stipend that the Center provides to her family to purchase basic food.
The many struggles that this family is facing are hard to imagine—it is inspiring to witness Ana’s strength and perseverance as she tries to provide a better life for her son. The Acorn Childcare Center is one of the few institutions that supports low-income families in Guatemala, and is usually the only support available for families like Ana and Joi. Thank you for your continued support!