Someone asked me yesterday why we had so many pictures of boys on the web site but not the girls. I guess we’re going to have to change that.
In late 2007, we started taking in a few girls. It was shortly before Christmas when we decided we just couldn’t turn away these girls. Formerly, we were an all boys home. Now that has changed. By Christmas 2007, we had 6 girls. By May 1st of this year, we had 15 girls.
Look at the smiling faces of these two girls.
Frances and Samantha are sisters and they are two of our girls. They are quiet, beautiful, smart girls. They are helpful, unobtrusive young women whose lives were at risk if they had not been taken into our hogar. And now, they are blossoming. Both of the girls tested and qualified for colegio, the Guatemalan version of private school. So, with funds that we raised, we are able to send these two sisters to colegio in Guatemala City. We now have 10 kids in colegio, thanks to the generous support of our donors. And every one of these children are deserving of a better life and a better education.
Taking in girls created problems that we needed to solve. In January, the girls were housed with the peques. While I was there, we cleared out a playroom, brought in beds and made a dorm room for the girls. A couple of the smaller girls had to share a bed. We had to coordinate bathroom and shower times, as the girls and the smaller boys (the pequenos) had to share the shower and toilet facilities.
Here are a few of the girls (with their decorated faces) in one of our outside play structures.
But, we didn’t have a teacher that could sleep in the dorm room with them. Eventually, Lorena, from the local village of Aguacate, was recruited to be the evening supervisor for the girls. Lorena and her 3 year old sister now stay at the hogar at night. In Lorena’s home, she doesn’t even have a bed. She doesn’t have a stove. She doesn’t have running water. Staying with us at night is safer for her and gives her a better place to sleep.
Now we have cleared out another part of a building and have a new room for the girls. They no longer have to share the bathroom with the boys. Instead, all 15 girls have to share one bathroom. But, it’s much better this way. Girls will be girls and they need their own spaces and their privacy, as do the boys.
All the girls have stories. Girls in Guatemala are at higher risk than the boys, for obvious reasons. And now we are providing some of them with a safe place to live. And they’re being fed and are getting an education.
This is what’s important…..helping others.