Many families in Guatemala and surrounding countries live in poor conditions, unprotected from the heat and the rain, unable to provide enough food for their families and susceptible to various diseases. Cesar is a child from such a community in El Salvador. His family began coming to the Association about eight years ago. They were able to begin coming to Nuestros Ahijados after the founder of the Institution, Patrick Atkinson, learned about their situation.
When Cesar’s mother, Mrs. Nelly first learned that Patrick was offering the family a grant she was very hesitant to believe it. She had been through a lot of hardship in her life and had learned through instances of deceit not to believe everything she was told. She grew up in a country where poverty is common and all of the family contributed to the income. She has been working ever since she was a child and, thus, did not receive a full education.
It was very important to Mrs. Nelly for her two children, Cesar and Joselyn, to gain an education. The children’s’ father was not present as they grew up, so it was just the two of them and their mother. Mrs. Nelly shared that when her husband learned she was pregnant with Cesar he decided he did not want anything to do with the baby and financially abandoned them. Mrs. Nelly continued seeing him, though, in hope that he would decide to support his family. A couple of years later, Mrs. Nelly became pregnant with Joselyn. Again, her husband chose to abandon his family, this time leaving all together. It was at this point that Mrs. Nelly really began to feel hopeless.
She continued to work hard as a house cleaner, but the income was not enough to provide for herself and two children. She often received help from her parents, but they did not have a lot to give either. The combination of her meager salary and the little her parents had to offer still was not sufficient to keep her family healthy. She wanted badly for her children to gain an education, but the more they grew the more the expenses grew. Mrs. Nelly had decided to take her children away from their studies so they could help to work and provide food. It was precisely at this time that Patrick Atkinson and Nuestros Ahijados came into their lives, providing a way out.
Until this point, Nelly’s family had been living in very poor conditions. They had a small home that did not provide enough protection. Nuestros Ahijados was able to change this, though. Construction teams were sent to build a durable house for them so they would have a safe place they could live in as a family.
Nuestros Ahijados also provided an education for the two children. Cesar is 19 now and is in his second year at University studying to become a math teacher. He tells us that the work is challenging, but he is thankful for the opportunity to learn and succeed. He wants to continue his studies so he can provide for his family.
This is only one of the many stories of families who suffer from poverty. Nuestros Ahijados was founded to help children like Cesar succeed so the cycle of poverty can be broken and another family can begin to thrive. Will you partner with us to provide a future of success for one of the many children who so desperately need it?