In Paraguay, nearly 1,000 children live in institutions. Thousands more are considered “at-risk” in their homes, meaning they are mistreated, abused and/or neglected. Without help, these children may never know the love of a healthy and supportive family. They may not develop the social and relational skills to function in healthy personal relationships and as a part of society.
What do these “at-risk” children need? Many need their families to be strengthened and supported, so they can avoid being sent to an orphanage. Some need a temporary foster family, while their case is being worked on to see if they can return to their family or relatives. Others are waiting for a permanent adoptive family. These are mostly older children, sibling groups or children with health conditions. Still others need “mentors”– individuals or families to support them as they age out of residential care and enter the world of adulthood. institutions. With your help, AFFEO partner Paraguay Protects Families is addressing all of these issues with one goal in mind- to see every child and teen thriving in a safe and loving family. Since 2016, they have been working with churches, government, social workers and parents to transform the way children are being cared for in Paraguay. And good change is happening!
After seven long years, Sonia found a forever family at the age of 18!
Sonia was 11 years old when she arrived at a residential home that is part of Paraguay Protects Families network. At this small, family-like care facility, she began to warm up to people, to trust, and to regain her health.
She had many challenges, but most of all she struggled with school. She had been in and out of school her entire life and received very little support with her homework. Until she arrived at the family-style home. There, she entered a special academic program that helped her not only catch up on her studies… Sonia became the top of her class by the 9th grade! Her own determination plus the support of caregivers and teachers within the care facility allowed for this remarkable transformation.
At age 18, Sonia was adopted into a wonderful family who had gotten to know her by hosting and mentoring her– they attended a church connected to the children’s home. Sonia was overjoyed! Although she was technically now an adult and no longer needed to be under the care of any guardian, she longed for a family to call her own.
Sonia now has a family, a home, a church, an education, and a dog named Marcio. ☺ She has safety, boundless love, and an identity. What an amazing story she can tell!