The six-year-old Amaro is still attending pre-school. He suffers from controlled epilepsy. His mother Elizabeth, 29 years old, is illiterate and was abandoned by her own mother already as a small child. She doesn’t know how to educate her undisciplined child. Both of them find help at “Casa de María.”
This social center with a dining room, chapel, and rooms for doctors and the sewing and knitting groups, is located in the housing area “El Peñón.” This area belongs still today to the parts of Santiago where we meet poverty. Many parents have to work until the evening; during the day the children are left to themselves or are watched by a neighbor. They feel alone and bored, and many are forced to take over responsibility already very early.
A Second Home
We would like to offer these children a second home and give them the joy that belongs to childhood. As a foundation for this, they need nutritious, filling meals and medical care. It is important to us to give them a good education, to mediate values, and to teach good social behavior. This includes helping them with their homework and giving them motivations to learn, as well as providing religious education. The children come from a difficult environment; they have experienced many things and so still have to grow very much with regard to features such as honesty, perseverance, diligence, etc. In order to be able to help them effectively, we would like to hire a child psychologist to be paid by the hour.
Tutoring and More
Since the end of March we have been running a new educational promotion project. Every Tuesday, seven young women studying education each give classes to three or four children of roughly the same age. This is a big challenge because the children have difficulties concentrating and learning and some of them also have emotional problems.
“The Music of the Future”
Up until now it has not been possible for the children to come every afternoon. When we have more volunteers, for example during times of vacation, more frequent offers are possible. But we work toward the goal of being able to offer the children a daily free time program. We also have the goal to offer something additional for teens.
In order to support the children’s families comprehensively, we need specialists in various areas: a social worker and a psychologist once a week, and a lawyer once a month. This is a big challenge for us because hourly wages also in Chile are not inconsiderable.
Project ID: El Peñón, Chile
Mission Center of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
Berg Schoenstatt 6
Phone: (0261) 6404-311
Beneficiary Bank: LIGA Bank eG
IBAN: DE10 7509 0300 0000 058920
Swift Code/BIC: GENODEF1M05