Spring Appeal 2022March 28, 2022
When children are separated from their families, they often arrive to El Hogar with a few personal things and leave everything else behind: familiar faces, the sounds they used to wake up to, their surroundings. And although children who are referred to El Hogar by the family welfare agency are removed for their own protection and are leaving distressing and often perilous environments, in the children’s eyes, they are moving from one uncertainty to another. Our work at El Hogar is to offer a safe and nurturing home for children who do not have that option. And although we can never replace a child‘s family, we continuously strive to be the best alternative.
It has been a long-time endeavor of El Hogar to transition the residential program to a more home-like family-based environment. Research indicates that a family setting best supports children’s development of a healthy sense of identity, purpose and belonging. The team in Honduras has doubled their efforts toward this goal and are making significant progress reorganizing living arrangements to foster sibling interaction and exploring new roles for caregivers to seek longer-term relationships and more personalized care.
This year, we are adapting the living spaces to become fully furnished apartment units which will each be a separate home, where a caregiver can permanently reside with the same group of children until they age out from the program. Sleeping quarters will consist of bedrooms for smaller groups of children, and each apartment will have its own kitchen, living quarters and access to outside social areas like any apartment complex.
Denise Vargas, Executive Director of El Hogar in Honduras said recently “I believe it is our most delicate of responsibilities at El Hogar, to offer children a home where they will experience connection, resilience, self-love, empowerment, and hope. We envision children coming home from school and enjoying a quiet movie night in their living room with their caregivers after doing their homework; older and younger kids running errands together on a Saturday afternoon; teens having their own personal spaces decorated by them to reflect individual personalities; we envision playdates and typical sibling arguments. Mostly, we hope that this environment will allow each child to build deep, lasting bonds with their caregivers and sibling groups that will last well beyond their years at El Hogar, to support them as they shape their own future. Our dearest dream is that every child can experience the joy of family and belonging for a lifetime.”
To make this vision a reality, we are asking for your help. Partner with us to move forward with this transition towards a healthy and family-like environment for the children in our care by giving today. Our goal is to ensure we can continue to support several elements that are essential for a successful transition: consulting services with experts in child wellness and protection; comprehensive training for caregivers to ensure that they are skilled and empowered to be integral participants throughout this process; adequate salaries for caregivers, social workers and trauma-trained psychologists; recreational opportunities for family units, and furnishings that will make the children’s living space feel more like home. Your gift will make sure that we can do the critical job of strengthening these students’ residential experience. By giving today you will be helping to create a deeper sense of home and belonging for each child.
There is nothing more important than ensuring that the children of El Hogar feel comfortable, safe and at home.
Please donate today to help us meet this critical need and give all of our students that vital sense of belonging that most of us take for granted.
With deep gratitude,
Thank you for your continued support of El Hogar!