Once again we send you our deepest regards from SOS Children's Village Comitán, in Chiapas and all our gratitude for your generous support we keep receiving from you, which gives us the wonderful possibility of planning and developing the individual life projects of every boy and girl who belongs to this community.
During these months we continue strengthening the processes of integration and independence of the members of 16 families integrated by 119 children, with the intention of making every child feel like they're at home, and help the oldest to integrate in the society, in every sense, with an attitude of absolute certainty about themselves and a high self-esteem.
The years go fast and many of the children have stopped being so to turn into teenagers and youths. As it happens in any family, such stage is not easy, neither for the youths nor for the mothers, due to the fact that at this age they're experiencing opposed feelings that sometimes confuse and discourage them, causing instability at school often, both in the school and the major's selection. There have been cases where they abandon school to start working. The SOS mothers, and aunts, with the proper advising, support their children in these difficult moments, showing faith in them, and that their love and comprehension is regardless, with the only interest of helping them to overcome any fear.
The Family Strengthening Programme began in Comitán, Chiapas in 2005, in some neighborhoods and communities, where extreme poverty, malnutrition and vulnerable families exist. Nowadays it relies on nine facilities, which function as daycare centres, where 177 boys and girls belonging to 198 families, receive care, attention, non-formal education and quality feeding, besides moments and spaces for games, melodies and fun.
Some family mothers receive the proper training necessary to become the educational mothers of these spaces, whereas other mothers can go to work to other places, resting calmly about the fact that their children are being taken care well and loved, besides having the opportunity to relate and learn together with other children.
This wonderful programme, thought from the familiar need, prevents parents from being obliged to leave their children locked up and exposed to dangers while they work; in addition, the programme contemplates personal development workshops and of labor insertion that offer them tools to improve the economic situation of these families, that many times is very limited.
Both development and empowerment of the village's families, such as those of the Family Strengthening Programme, to provide the necessary environment where children can live happily, is possible thanks to people like you who believe and trust in this wonderful movement that so many smiles has harvested.
In representation of all the children and families: Thank you very much for your kindness!
Jorge Zavaleta and Graciela Maldonado
Director of the Comitán SOS Children's Village, and director of the Family
Strengthening Programme, Comitán, Chiapas, respectively.