Celebrating Make a Difference to Children Month
Hi everyone! My name is Kathleen Duncan and I serve as an ex-officio board member for Esperança. I spent most of my career working with vulnerable children and families in Arizona as a counseling psychologist, so needless to say Make a Difference to Children Month is on my heart and mind this July!
During 25 years vacationing with my family in Rocky Point, Mexico, I could not help but notice the many children there who did not seem to have the chance to go to school. When I learned that a lack of resources forces many parents in this community to choose between sending their kids to school and meeting basic needs, it broke my heart. So I decided to do something about it.
In 2015, I formed the Mexican non-profit organization Educarte, to help provide local kids with a path out of poverty through education. I am proud to say that, 7 years later, we have become Esperança's 6th international partner, and the future of Educarte is limitless thanks to generous donors like you.
So, for allowing me to fulfill my personal calling and providing hundreds of children each year with hope for a better future through education, I send you my sincerest gratitude. Now I'd like to share just one example of how Esperança is transforming the lives of children around the world...
Most parents would agree that few milestones are more anticipated than hearing your child speak their first word. Augustine’s parents weren’t sure they would ever get to experience such a magical moment. He and his twin brother, Rafael, were born three months premature and experienced a wide range of developmental challenges.
While Rafael was unable to walk or speak, Augustine was very mobile and understood language but was not able to speak. The nearest place for these boys to receive the professional therapies and support they needed to develop their potential was hundreds of miles away.
Unfortunately, the family could not afford to make the trip from their hometown of Rocky Point, Mexico. Five long years passed without much progress.
Then, everything changed.
When Kathleen first met Augustine and Raphael, her heart melted.
“I quickly fell in love with these two little boys and their family and began visiting them almost every week when I was in Rocky Point. Although Educarte did not have a program serving special needs at that time, we were able to provide funding and some extra staff support to have the twins begin attending a local private school. Having the opportunity to be around classmates who were verbal was incredibly beneficial.”
It wasn’t long before Augustine’s parents got that magical moment they had longed for! In fact, it was only the end of his first week of school that he ran up to Kathleen yelling his first words, “Tia Katy!”
The whole team was overcome with emotion seeing how far he had come in such a short time.
Like Augustine and his brother, many children with special needs in Rocky Point have little or no access to urgently needed professional services. So, Educarte launched a program to provide these children with consistent access to therapists and special education services.
Financial support of Esperança helps fuel this program, giving kids like Augustine the resources and support they need to develop to their fullest potential.
Augustine and his twin brother are now thriving in their new school environment and we can't wait to see what they do next!
You can support Esperança's work in Mexico by making a donation here.