Providing Safe Spaces for Children and Communities at NPH Guatemala
At NPH Guatemala, children and young people have a safe environment to grow socially and professionally.
February 12, 2019 - Guatemala
"NPH Guatemala has a very strong, positive impact on children and youth. The process of formation and prevention also reaches families in the community with visits, school meetings, and celebrations. Father Wasson continues to be a model for all our children," says Alejandra Cordón, in her eighth year as social work coordinator at NPH Guatemala.
Thousands of Guatemalan children are involved in antisocial groups, delinquency, drugs, alcoholism, child abuse, intra-family violence, and more. According to a report published by Procurador de los Derechos Humanos, a human rights advocacy group, 1.6 million children ages 13-18 abandoned their studies in 2017. More than 2 million children did not receive an education in 2017. The Institute of Statistics (INE) notes that 70.2% of Guatemalan children live in poverty.
The Social Work Department of NPH Guatemala
The department of social work has a fundamental role in NPH’s efforts to provide children with a safe environment to grow and develop. It is in charge of maintaining integral protection of children within our home and community outreach programs and monitoring that the rights of children are always upheld.
"NPH Guatemala holds meetings called School for Parents with families of children in the community who come to our school. These meetings focus on preventing and counteracting social risks."
"We are implementing an external program aimed at adolescents of nearby communities, where sports, arts and crafts, and trades are promoted to prevent children from engaging in activities that put them at risk," says Cordón.
All the programs and activities at NPH Guatemala are focused on promoting a warm family atmosphere where children can feel confident and safe.
NPH achievements during 2018
230 children attend NPH Guatemala’s school each year. In 2018, it offered 157 scholarships to children in the community. As a result, 18 children graduated from the elementary level, 26 from middle school, 12 from high school, and 3 from university. 26 teenagers were trained in the areas of baking, cooking, sewing, carpentry, and blacksmithing.
Through the NPH OneFamily program, in 2018 11 children were successfully reintegrated with their biological families and NPH continues to provide educational, health, and nutritional support.
"2018 was successful. We worked with entities such as CNA [National Council of Adoptions in Guatemala] for the transformation of family services. And we participated in workshops to recognize the quality of NPH Guatemala’s work in the care and protection of children,” elaborates Orlando Ramos, national director of NPH Guatemala.
Through your continued support, our growing programs will continue to serve children and their families both in our own home and in neighboring communities. When children have a safe space to grow and develop, free from negative outside influences that can lead them down dangerous paths, they can become important and contributing members to their future families and communities.
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.