Imagine a ten-year-old kid on the streets of Mexico, alone with only his younger brother and no parents to turn to. After a series of hardships and events, he later finds himself at an orphanage where he is provided with a new opportunity at life. However, due to the orphanage’s limited resources, he faces difficulties in receiving a steady education. His determination to learn pushes him to find ways to excel, and after many challenging years, he attends and graduates from college.
This is the story of Martín, who is now the orphanage director at Esperanza—the same orphanage he came to as a ten-year-old boy. Martín didn’t have therapists or tutors of any kind growing up, but he did have people that supported him in reaching his goals.
A Child’s Hope Foundation is building a program that provides this type of individualized support and direction for each child through the help of house parents, tutors, mentors, and therapists.
A Big Need to Fill
The orphanage directors are committed to making the orphanage experience as best as possible for every child. However, due to limited time and often a lack of expertise, most orphanages cannot provide the kids with all the resources or tools they might need to become successful adults. This is where our program of Child’s Hope Plans comes in to fill the gaps.
Erendira Trujillo, the Area Director who oversees all the orphanages in Baja, has been able to witness firsthand the effects of Child’s Hope Plans. She states,
Child’s Hope Plans
So, what exactly are Child’s Hope Plans? To put it simply, they are individualized plans that provide the children with the tools and support they need to overcome whatever physical, mental, emotional, and educational challenges they may have. They come in the form of therapists who help the children heal from emotional and physical trauma, or tutors and mentors who teach study habits and help the children set life goals. Other times, they come in the form of caregivers who provide additional love and attention to the children. Each child is different, and subsequently, will have different needs. Child’s Hope Plans are prioritized support that focuses on what those individual needs are.
Pieces of the Puzzle
These sustained efforts of Child’s Hope Plans are like one giant puzzle, with each element being a different piece. There are four main pieces:
Therapy, Education, Caregiver Support and Mentorship/Personal Enrichment.
Qualified and trained therapists are critical to Child’s Hope Plans as many children suffer from the aftermaths of mental, emotional, or physical trauma. Not only do they help the kids heal through group-focused learning and 1-1 therapy, but they also provide training to the caregivers so that they can be better equipped for the kids. Lastly, to help measure self-efficacy, therapists provide regular reports that measure progress against an initial intake assessment.
Because orphaned children often fall behind in school, tutors are needed to help the kids set and achieve their educational goals. Through tutors, guided study habits, and a special focus on literacy and math proficiency, children can academically catch up to their peers. The Tutoring Program provides assessments of each child that help tutors decide how to best support the children, whether that be in a group setting or 1-1 learning.
Like all children, consistent and quality care from a caregiver contributes greatly to their long-term success. It is important that orphanages can provide caregivers who can create these long-term relationships with the children. Child’s Hope Plans support caregivers through means such as salary supplementation, benefits support, or other caregiver-specific expenses. The Caregiver Program also prioritizes training to help each caregiver and child excel.
Every child deserves the opportunity to learn critical life skills, foster hobbies, and prepare to contribute to society through learning a vocation. The Mentor/Personal Enrichment Program ensures that these developments are happening in a consistent, supportive manner. This service can be provided by an Extended Volunteer Child’s Hope Mentor, other volunteers, or caregivers. The program helps teach children essential life skills such as shopping, finances, applying for jobs, and driving; it also encourages children to develop their interests like art, computers, or sports. Ultimately, this piece of Child’s Hope Plans helps each child consider and plan for their future.
Completing the Puzzle
There are times that a child may only need a single element of Child’s Hope Plans. However, these Plans have proven most effective when all four pieces are available and provided for the children. That’s when the puzzle is most complete.
Although orphanages may not be the most ideal setting for these wonderful children, it is often the only viable option in many countries such as Mexico and Haiti. With Child’s Hope Plans, children receive intentional guidance from caring adults so they can gain the skills needed to succeed into adulthood.
Child’s Hope Plans would not be possible without your love and support for the kids. Your donations provide these children with the resources they need to overcome the mental, emotional, academic, and behavioral challenges they face. Thank you for lifting children from surviving to thriving.
If you want to learn more about the work Martín is doing and his story, watch below.