The VIDA Children
Casa Hogar Para Niños is an orphanage in Oaxaca, Mexico, where about 14 boys, ages 6 to 14 years, live until they can complete elementary school. Their families were generally unable to provide for them, making homelessness or orphanage life the only options. Some have suffered from hunger, physical ailments, emotional and physical abuse. Most of them have lost one or both parents. Frequently, their supervisors have little more education than they have.
The boys have greatly benefited from V.I.D.A.'s efforts. We have seen marked improvement in their emotional and physical health, general well-being, and academic achievements! VIDA has provided tutors, sports programs, counseling, nutrition support, food, personal care products, and medical attention. When they complete the sixth grade, we provide them secondary education as a pathway to a better life and self-sustaining career. This career path is something that most of their parents never had and is of vital importance. Returning to the streets or their villages where illiteracy is 60% is unthinkable.
The boys who have been sponsored by V.I.D.A. in the past are now attending Jr. High, High School and the University. Current donations will be funneled towards their education and also to supplement their own earnings for their basic livelihood needs while they are in school.
Wilberth, at 14 is our latest 6th grade and orphanage graduate. He is a most cheerful, intelligent and cooperative young fellow.
His mother had been left to feed and care for eight children when Wilberth was very young. She is now willing and able to house him while he pursues his education. She cannot, nevertheless pay for it. Wilberth has many goals and interests: learning about world cultures, sports, crafts and music. He would like to become an Agricultural Engineer or a Veterinarian.
Daniel is 16 years old. Daniel, like many of his orphanage buddies, has never met his parents. Daniel has now found a loving home and a loving family with Lulú (please check her bio in our website), her two brothers and sister. Daniel has struggled academically, but he is currently working full time and will commence vocational school next fall. Daniel is very loving and cooperative. Daniel loves animals. His goal is to work with animals as Veterinarian Assistant.
Angel is 18 years old. Angel was traumatized in elementary school when the other children would yell, “Your parents rejected you!” Nonetheless, he did not lose focus. Angel continues to achieve excellent academic levels. Angel has always stood out in groups of youngsters his age due to his intelligence and natural athletic abilities. Angel’s goal after finishing high school is to continue his education at the police academy to become a detective, private investigator, or to join the military academy. Angel lives with Lulú, who provides a loving foster home.
Marcelo came to Casa Hogar at the age of 10. Marcelo was convinced that he was a “dunce” since his teachers told him so. One of his teachers ran him out of the classroom and told him to never come back to school. Marcelo is a high school graduate and he is now in the vocational school on his way to becoming an electrician! What a difference a loving and supportive environment can make in a young person’s life. VIDA helped Marcelo believe in himself. “Si puedo!.” Marcelo is currently living at home with his elderly parents whom he helps support. Marcelo is 24 years old.
Telésforo is 15 years old. He is “the fourth musketeer” living with Lulú. Soft-spoken and shy, he spends time drawing and listening to others. His smile is catching. Other than his younger brother Lalo who lives in another orphanage he has no one he can call family (nuclear or extended). Telésforo’s goal is to become an Artist or a Veterinarian. In the fall of 2017 he will start in a High School where the arts are emphasized along with science. His words: “When I am a father I will not abandon my children”.
Francisco is 16 years old. He will be graduating from junior high school in July 2017. In the fall, Paco will attend a high school that not only offers the basic academic subjects, but also music and dance. Francisco belongs to the Oaxacan minority “Mixes” who are said to have music in their blood. There are musicians in Paco’s extended family and he seems to be born with an affinity for music. Paco is friendly and likes to do well in school. Since leaving the orphanage, he has been living with Daniel, Telésforo, and Angel at Ms. Lulú’s house.
Fredy is 23 years old. He is the oldest of five children. Fredy is a reserved young man who loves to read and play sports, but never joined in any aggressive games. Fredy works part-time at various jobs and is diligently pursuing his career to become an elementary school teacher. This year he began his internship at the Elementary School. When asked how he enjoys his chosen profession, he responded, “I didn’t know how much I would like it. It has become my passion. I learn a great deal and I’m moved by their challenges.” Fredy is now reunited with his siblings and he lives in a house built with money that his mother sent from the U.S.
Eleuterio is 25 years old. He arrived at Casa Hogar orphanage after months of living on the streets at the tender age of 10. Eleuterio worked hard and graduated from high school. He has served his one year of military service and he is currently a straight A student at the Universidad Nacional de México. Eleuterio’s goal is to become a Physical Education Teacher and a professional soccer coach. He lives with his dog and fully supports himself except for his educational needs.
Juan, our future Architect, is 24 years old. He has overcome incredible challenges when as an 8 year old he left home with his brother Eleuterio (then 10 years old) “to make it on their own”. After 3 or 4 months of sleeping on the streets, walking from pueblo to pueblo, working here and there or stealing food in order to eat they were picked up by a social worker and placed in Casa Hogar orphanage. Juan has always been kind, cooperative and respectful. He has worked very hard to achieve notoriety in the University of Nuevo Leon where he is now in his second year as a student in architecture. He loves to play soccer and enjoys teasing VIDA’s founder, Elisabeth. She once asked him what got him through the tough academic obstacles and he responded “I remember when I was little you made me write 5 times: Yes, I can!” Once graduated from college, his goal is to help other children in need. He lives with a family who has taken him under their wings and he works part-time.