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Our Projects’ Response to COVID-19: Strengthening Bonds and Protecting Our Children

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The onset of the novel Coronavirus has impacted communities across the world in unprecedented ways. Latin America in particular has suffered tremendous losses that have threatened the safety, health and livelihood of the people, most of whom have already been struggling with political and socio-economic inequalities. 

While we are closely monitoring the virus’ impact, we’re proud of the excellent support and specialized care that has been consistently provided to all of our children and families across every project.

Casa Hogar Alegria, Toluca 

Mexico remains a high-risk country, where many states continue to stay in lockdown. While Casa Hogar Alegria (CHA) has suspended visitations, the girls have participated in virtual workshops and lessons such as “Taller de Mujer a Mujer,” a workshop that focuses on meditation and mindfulness. Fundraising efforts have been difficult for CHA, therefore Maestro Cares Foundation donated funds to help with CHA’s operational expenses. 

CHA is proud to share that 4 girls have graduated and exited the program! The young women have successfully graduated from college and are on the path to success!

Casa Hogar Alegria, Toluca currently serves 113 girls, ages 6-23

Casa Hogar Alegria, Guadalajara

Casa Hogar Alegria, Guadalajara is in the process of being furnished, and the hiring process for new staff is also underway. The home is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of July, where 20 girls are looking forward to arriving to their new home. 

Hogar San Miguel, Ponce

Puerto Rico has suffered many earthquakes this year. While a blackout followed the disaster, Hogar San Miguel (HSM) did not encounter any structural damages. In response to COVID-19, Visitations to the home have been suspended, and all children’s therapy sessions have moved online. HSM received computer monitors and iPads from Maestro Cares Foundation, and the foundation is getting back on track with the children’s education. Staff has been heavily focused on the psychosocial wellbeing of every child to effectively manage the stress situations caused by the earthquake and the ongoing pandemic. 

HSM is proud to share that 3 boys have graduated from the program and have moved on to independent living. 

Hogar San Miguel currently serves 12 boys ages 9-19

Aldeas Infantiles SOS Guatemala

Due to government restrictions, the community center will remain closed until the third trimester of the year. Nonetheless, all services (except the daycare center) are still being provided. Services and workshops to at-risk families are being offered virtually and through at-home visits from the Aldeas on-field staff. Many families are unemployed and have received grocery baskets and supplies. Aldeas Infantiles SOS Guatemala was able to partner with Cocina de Esperanza and Uber to grant meals to families in need.

Maestro Cares Foundation has granted Aldeas Infantiles SOS Guatemala funds that will go towards the community center’s operational costs for the year.

Aldeas Infantiles SOS Colombia

Due to the current state of confinement, the community center has been very helpful at this time. Though times may be tough, family bonds have strengthened, and youth in the community have stepped up as leaders to boost morale and celebrate holidays and birthdays. 

Operational costs have greatly increased due to the pandemic. As a result, Maestro Cares Foundation granted additional funds to aid in the incurred operational costs.

Aldeas Infantiles SOS Bolivia

The children at the Maestro Cares House and the Marta Bedoya de Claure House at Aldeas Infantiles SOS Bolivia in El Alto, remain in quarantine and are continuing their schooling at home. Aldeas local teams have been checking in with weekly phone calls with the families and have also coordinated activities to do at home. At the Marta Bedoya de Claure home, 1 child (13 years old) was re-integrated with his family! After a year and a half of preparation, the child is now safely living at home with his family. At the Maestro Cares Home, 4 children were returned to their biological mother. Their mother was able to get a stable job to provide for their children.

Maestro Cares Foundation is working closely with Aldeas Infantiles SOS Bolivia to ensure that all children and staff are healthy and safe.

The Marta Bedoya de Claure Home houses 7 children ages 5-13 and the Maestro Cares Home houses 6 children, ages 6-10. 

Fundación Alalay, La Paz, Bolivia

By order of the Bolivian government, all children have remained in quarantine at the Alalay home in La Paz. In an effort to minimize the risk of infecting the girls at the home, Alalay has kindly provided transportation to all staff members! Maestro Cares Foundation provided a grant for Alalay to acquire biosafety products and materials for the home. The girls have also received psychological support in response to COVID-19. While no girls have been infected, many of their families are homeless and risk infection. One of the students at the home was invited to study in London for a workshop, but due to COVID-19, the workshop is now being held online. 

Maestro Cares Foundation is working closely with Fundación Alalay to ensure all children and staff have the adequate resources to stay healthy and safe.

The Marta Bedoya de Claure Home houses 24 girls, ages 10-19.

Casa de mi Padre, El Salvador

Due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, the diverse support staff, including tutors, health specialists, and psychologists to name a few, have been unable to visit the home. Nonetheless, online homeschooling has strengthened independent will and responsibility, and even the girls’ behavior and relationships with adults have seen a major improvement. Casa de mi Padre (CDMP) only had 3 functioning computers for 17 children, so Maestro Cares Foundation promptly equipped the home with 6 iPad, 3 printers and 6 hotspot modems to make e-learning accessible to all. CDMP also recently celebrated its 18th anniversary! 

Casita de Belen, Colombia

With school closures affecting over 250 children at Casita de Belen (CBD in Cali, Colombia, the children’s ability to adapt to change in a time of crisis exemplifies their resilience and fortitude. Most scheduled activities have moved to online platforms and the children have also gotten involved in at-home sport competitions to stay connected. CBD, like other organizations in Colombia, has donated food baskets and supplies to the children’s families. 

Maestro Cares Foundation is working closely with Casita de Belen to ensure that CDB has the adequate tools and resources to keep children and staff healthy and safe.

Fundación Jeison Aristizábal – Asodisvalle, Colombia

While Colombia remains in quarantine through August 1st, all Asodisvalle services have shifted to online platforms. Many of the students have received computers to complete all of their online learning. At- risk families have also benefitted from Asodisvalle’s gift basket donation. Asodisvalle was able to distribute 7,000 grocery baskets to families in need in the months of March, April, May, June and July

Maestro Cares Foundation donated funds to purchase food baskets for the families of children in need.

Project MABA, Cusco, Peru

In response to COVID-19, teachers have launched a program called “Aprendo en Casa,” a program that reaches students via radio and television. Teacher’s also follow up with families on Whatsapp to ensure all needs of the children are being met.

Maestro Cares Foundation is working closely with Project MABA to ensure that all children and staff are safe and healthy.

We’re proud of the commitment and resilience all of the projects have shown during times of adversity. The safety, education and support of our children is our number one priority, and though we may be physically apart at this time, all of our efforts make us #StrongerTogether.