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Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico

by Hogares Teresa Toda
Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico
Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico
Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico
Empowering Foster Girls and Teens in Puerto Rico

When a caring and loving environment is provided to a child in need, adversity is handled more effectively and resilience is possible. The girls at Hogares Teresa Toda has shown great deal of strength during this year amid the challenges presented: earthquakes, pandemic, distanced education along with the other emotional baggage that they are dealing with related to their exposure to traumatic experiences. Hogares Teresa Toda is proud to say that our participants have raised to the occasion and have being able to complete the school year with an excellent academic performance.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Hogares Teresa Toda served a total of seventeen girls of which fourteen completed their academic year at the facility. The fourteen residents who completed their academic year at the facility passed, seven of them with an overall average of 90% or higher and the other seven with averages of 80% or more. Three girls graduated from the eighth grade and participated in the graduation ceremonies following the security measures adopted in leu of the COVID-19 pandemic. A resident graduated from High School and was accepted to the Universidad del Este, Carolina Campus. This student was admitted to the Social Work program. Another participant was admitted to her school's honor roll.

 Every residents benefited from supervised study and tutoring at the facility Monday through Friday from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. In this space the residents completed their assignments, special projects and studied for their exams.

A total of 396 hours of supervised study was offered.

Due to the situation of the pandemic, during this academic year (2019-2020) all residents took their classes online through different social platforms from March 2020 (Teams, Google Classroom, Zoom and WhatsApp) . The facility provided each resident access to the internet, computers, and tablets. The participants were offered computer classes at the facility where basic skills of the WORD, POWER POINT programs, among others, were taught. 

Hogares had the pleasure of celebrating their achievements in an Award Ceremony taking into account all needed COVID-19 measures. 

Along with the educational plan executed to address the pandemic times, the girls continued to have other therapeutic activities like cooking classes, nails workshops and Games activities among others.  

We thank our donors for their support and wish them good health in these times of adversity.  Thank you fo being present in the life of these girls. You are helping us make the difference.

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We want to start this report by thanking all our recurrent donors for contributing to improve the quality of life of our girls in the program and wishing them good health and many blessings during this difficult time. 

Living in times of Corona Virus has changed the life of all of us and also put another challenge in the life of our foster girls and adolescents.  We are working together to take the best out of them. The aim is to developed resilient human beings so when the time comes that they has to face more adversities they are better equipped to succeed. 

To better manage the time of the residents at home, we have had to change the daily routine of the girls since schools are closed and education is now provided by distance.  The residents are spending more time in the facility. Tutors are coming in earlier to address the educational needs of the residents. We are organizing more extracurriculars activities such as cooking workshops, hand craft sessions, paint and drawing classes, among others.

The challenge that we are facing now is that we are falling short on escort personnel as the girls are now in the house during weekdays.  To face this challenge we are extending and redistributing working schedules as much as we can to make sure that the girls are accompanied at all times. 

The nurse and other clinical personnel have been providing education about the Corona Virus to the residents, and its preventive measures such as social distancing, hand washing, cleaning surfaces and have good nutritional habits to enhance their immune system.  As of today, we do not have any positive case of COVID-19 in our Program.  We are following 100% the stay home order and restricting the number of visitors to our premises. 

The program psychologist and social workers are working with the residents individually to address any concern or stress related to the situation with the Corona Virus.

We are certain that we will succeed these difficult times and become stronger after the fact.

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With great joy, we want to notify you that the girls and young girls of Hogares Teresa Toda managed to finish the school period with excellent academic qualifications. Also, because of the Christmas season, we had a beautiful celebration. This strengthens our family spirit and at the same time the integral growth and development of our girls and young girls.  In addition, we had the Second Meeting of girls and young girls 2019 composed of girls and young girls who received the services from the beginning in the Organization. Many of these women are already professionals, the result of a realization of their lives. It motivates us to move forward to think that everything we do is the Work of God and that we are not alone, that we count on you to make our girls and young girls useful to society.

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As of August of this year our girls and teens have started the new school year, each of them is being motivated to become aware of the responsibility they should have towards their studies and their importance for their wellbeing and future. They are guided to understand that work and effort are indispensable for mastery and healthy management of reality.

We have observed our girls and teens to be in high spirits, cheerful and willing to take on their responsibilities as they complete school and home assignments and tasks, an develop sound study habits. Welcoming our girls and teens in an environment of love and understanding helps them feel valued and loved while building self-confidence.

To have the opportunity to accompany each one of our residents in this process is for us a sacred gift that God has placed before us.

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Collage of Acedemic Ceremonies and Summer Camp
Collage of Acedemic Ceremonies and Summer Camp

During the past school year 2018-2019, Hogares Teresa Toda provided services to a total of 31 girls and adolescents victims of different types of abuse and the impossibility of custodial care by their own family. Of these girls and adolescents, 20 managed to complete the 2018-2019 school year as residents under our care. A total of 7 girls did not complete the year because they were returned to their biological homes, or with family resources and some relocated to other residential programs. Another 4 girls were not enrolled in schools because they entered our program at the end of the school year.

Fifteen of our residents were enrolled in private schools and 9 in public schools. In addition, a total of 3 residents benefited from private schools specializing in special/individualized education.

As part of the services provided, all the girls and adolescents served benefited from tutoring and supervised studies from Monday to Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. These services were provided in a purely educational environment with the aim of promoting effective study habits. As a result:

·       80% of the residents obtained a GPA between 2.8 and 3.5 while 100% approved all basic skills and were promoted to the next academic level.

·       An improvement in the academic performance was noted between the first academic semester and the second semester (from 84 average to 89%).

·       Four of our residents managed to be part of the Honor Roll of their respective educational centers.

·       100% of the residents who required services of the Special Education Program of the Department of Education, received the therapeutic services of; speech and language, psychological, occupational and other related services.

·       One of our residents completed high school with an average of 3.5 and was accepted at the University of Puerto Rico.

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Organization Information

Hogares Teresa Toda

Location: Canovanas - Puerto Rico
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Norma Matar
Canovanas, PR Puerto Rico
$21,319 raised of $38,000 goal
191 donations
$16,681 to go
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