“He told me I couldn’t tell anyone. He said he would kill my Mom, just like they killed my Dad last year. He told me if I got a boyfriend that he would kill him. I am scared all the time. I don’t like walking alone in my community. What do I do if I see him on the street?”. 12-year-old girl
She will never forget what happened at her old school (a girls school in Santa Maria de Jesus). The teacher would come to her class and tell her teacher that he needed to borrow her for a moment. He would take her to a closet and blindfold her, every time she said no he would threaten to hurt her family. This started just 2 months after her father passed away and continued for 6 months.
Over the past six months we have dealt with some very sad and disturbing cases involving members of the community we work with. It is difficult to articulate some of these situations.
Most recently the Mother and Child Program was faced with two particularly disturbing cases: a 12-year-old girl who was sexually abused by her teacher at her previous school and an 8 year old boy who was sexually abused by a group of older boys in his own home.
With May being dedicated to our #FHTHFunds4Health campaign for our medical clinic, I want to specifically raise a portion to directly support our Mother and Child Program. The scope of medical care that From Houses to Homes addresses goes beyond the patient's physical and pharmaceutical needs; our staff also finds imperative to address mental health which includes the consequences of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Our Mother and Child Program aims to support and empower women to take charge of both their own futures and their children’s future. The second phase of this program costs approximately $3,300 a month and we hope to successfully change the health misconceptions that many women have, as well as teaching women the importance of receiving the appropriate treatment they require such as annual visits to the gynecologist and for pre-natal care.
Our Mother and Child Program offers support for victims of violence and sexual assault. It is not uncommon for victims to suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress and as you can imagine, especially in a country like Guatemala, shame, and anger can make it difficult for victims to speak up. All too often they do not get the treatment they need to cope during a crisis of tis magnitude. Often, when I speak with women and young girls they explain that they live in a machismo society and are treated like an object. This program is going to be extremely challenging, however it is something that is desperately needed.
Sexual abuse and violence in the home is common in Guatemala, VERY common in fact. FHTH is covering the legal fees to protect these 2 children and also to prevent this same perpetrator from doing the same thing to others. Our psychologist is working with both children and their families; they face a difficult road ahead and we will be there to support them every step of the way.
Sexual violence is a medical emergency and affects thousands of people every year in Guatemala. Sadly there is very little help provided by Guatemalan health care system.
If you would like to support phase 2 of our Mother and Child Program our goal is to raise $40,000 to cover the costs for 12 months. Please consider joining us as we support and empower women to take charge of both their own futures, and their children’s future by offering them the love and support they need.
Thank you in advance!
- A $20 donation will allow 4 women to have their annual pap smear
- A $24 donation will cover the cost of vitamins for a month
- A $30 donation will cover the cost of groceries for a month
- A $50 donation will cover the cost of one group session and one month of vitamins in our Mother and Child Program
- A $60 donation will cover the cost of counseling for 3 months
- A $80 donation will cover the cost for cervical cancer care.
- A $100 donation will provide medical care for a family of 4.
- A $350 donation will sponsor a woman and her child to go through our Mother and Child Program (sessions, vitamins and groceries for 6 months)
- A $400 donation will provide insulin a diabetic for one month
- A $1,000 donation will support 4 women or girls in crisis. Your donation will allow them to attend our reproductive health education program as well as receive all the necessary counseling and medical tests/ medication.
- A $3300 donation will support the Mother and Child program for a month