Today was the first day of the last trip of Summer 2012 for Women for Orphans Worldwide. With a total of 36 team members, WOW is experiencing the largest team ever in Guatemala! Today we woke up ate breakfast and headed off to The Down syndrome School.
We arrived at La Asociacion Guatemalteca para el Sindrome de Down around 9:00 AM. When we pulled up and parked the three busses, we unloaded three buses full of people and four huge duffle bags filled with supplies, along with food and the cleaning supplies Farish Mozley provided with funds from Ursuline Academy. The team gathered in the Cafeteria and unloaded multiple pots and pans, cooking supplies, art supplies, and other school supplies. When we met the director, Irene, she was so thrilled to have all of those needed necessities given out of the helping hands of team members. We found out how Irene began this Down Syndrome School out of her own time and money. Her touching story began with the diagnosis of Down syndrome to her son Alfredo (8). Her son needed open-heart surgery, problems kept re-occurring with her son Alfredo, and her family had to go to the States to get opinions from doctors in the USA. She realized people with DS in the US are treated a lot differently than the children in Guatemala. In Guatemala, children are put out on the streets, abused, not loved, and ignored. Unlike Guatemala, there was assistance literally put in front of her face throughout her trip to the USA. She found this help and kindness towards these children amazing, and decided she needed to do something too. She came back home, her son received his surgery, and Irene cracked down on a plan for a school for these “children with the presence of the Lord.” Irene sold her house for Monetary help, and she and her family moved to a church to finally help other children as well.
Today, La Asociacion Guatemalteca para el Sindrome de Down is located in a church in Guatemala City, and it is finally their own place! They have been up and running since 2005, and are working with four different classes from the ages of 1-26 years old. By the time we left, the children had the largest smiles on their faces, and would not let go from their hugs. These children, are she sweetest people and have so much to offer to this world, they are no different to us, except for one thing, they appreciate everything and anything a person will give, a hug, a smile, or supplies. Life is not about receiving, its always about giving what you can, doing what you can to help those who are not as fortunate.
After a lunch at Pizza Hut, we headed off to the baby school Hogar Amor para el Niño’s. We arrived and were surrounded with toddlers! They were so cute and all they wanted was to be held, loved, and appreciated! Some of the children were not as out-going as the other children, and that is normal. These children were abandoned, given away, and their parents possibly could not afford to take care of these children. Their house is up in the mountaintops in a house that was built in 1980 or so and had every necessity a baby could imagine! There were so many swings, balls, toys, and jungle gyms to play on! Once we started unloading the baby food, formula and other supplies Jodie Rogge provided for her Gold Project, the children and the staff at the schools faces lit up! They were so thankful for the contribution to their home!
Children were running around, jumping in people’s laps, and being held by every single person on the team! This house held children from 0- 9 years old! You can imagine the energy in these children! When it was time to go the team’s energy was about half as much as the children’s! There was some crying and pouting when we headed off the busses. These children were so adorable and so loving and thankful to have people play with them and hold them! The baby home, is a definite repeat!
Today, I realized how important it is to have family in your life. Children’s behavior changes depending on how much, or how little of supportive family they have in their life. Growing up in supportive households definitely has an impact on children. The love these children had before they came into these households, and after they stay in a while, the people were able to tell a definite difference in these children! These children are surrounded with a loving and caring environment, and all the help the team, and possibly some of you readers have done to help me, Jody, or the team in general to raise money, or supplies, makes a huge difference. So thank you, Thank you so very much on behalf of myself, Carolyn Quint, Jody Rogge, as well as the WOW team. Thank you!
Until tomorrow! God Bless, and keep these orphans in your prayers!