When we had our weekly team meeting last week, we were privileged to have Miguel’s cousin Omar,a child psychologist sitting in.
We talked a lot about kids need for education and improving literacy as well as the need for proper nutrition and medical care, but Omar was very a strong advocate for the social. mental health side of supporting kids who are struggling with poverty. He lives and works in Cajamarca, with people who live in areas where there is no trash collection, no fresh water, very small houses with dirt floors and twelve people at a time living in them. In this environment, he said, the issue of social behaviour, self esteem, access to funds for education become fulcrums that keep kids off balance even if they want further education.
Omar stressed that if the social problems are not addressed at the same time that tutoring and health needs are, there will still be a wall to overcome that will keep kids from succeeding.
We are surounded with communities just like this one, and here in Huanchaco, there are three in particular that have our hearts. we will be telling you more about each one in the near future.
We can have classes and we can bring activities, we can bring tutors and we can write books…. but kids need to be heard, to be journeyed with, to have an opportunity to see their lives in the light of new posibilities without removing their cultural beauties. Pride in their families, their culture, themselves is what will help them as they create a successful future.