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Home visits: Understanding the situations our children come from and the difficulties they face

21/02/2017

The objective of the home visits is to be able to monitor the current situation of each and every family our foundation supports. We assess their financial situation, the families health and the general environment of our students.

We currently carry out home visits once a year, during January. During this time of the year our entire Foundation staff, both teachers and administration staff, are on site at The School of Hope but the students have not yet returned. Ideally we would like to do home visits twice a year however, unfortunately we don’t have sufficient time or staff to carry out this huge undertaking. This year we visited over 340 families, almost 100% of those we support with only 5% left, who we will visit throughout the year.  

The main objective of the home visits is to assist the Campaign and Social Departments in being able to support and complement the Education Department here at the School of Hope.

During the home visits we went to the areas of: Parramos, San Antonio, Ciudad Vieja, San Juan del Obispo, Vista Hermosa, Jocotenango, San Isidro, Alta Loma, Alotenango, La Rinconada, Los Llanos and Victorias, Pastores, San Antonio Aguas Calientes and San Felipe.

The objective of these home visits is to be able to monitor the current situation of each and every family our foundation supports. We assess their financial situation, the families health and the general environment of our students. Another main reason is for our staff to fully understand the situations our children come from and the difficulties they face.

One of the most positive outcomes of the home visits is to be able to observe, monitor and then respond to the specific needs of each family. We do this, for example, through finding out if there are families who do not have a bed to sleep in but instead sleep on the floor, or if there are homes where 8 or more people only have one bed to sleep in etc.

By collecting this information fundraising campaigns can be carried out to address families specific and immediate needs and buy them beds. Or if there are families whose houses leak badly when it rains, the Foundation knows to fundraise for more funding for house repairs. For the Psychology Department, home visits are important to investigate some of the more dangerous problems our children face, such as alcoholism or drug addiction among their family members.

As a Foundation, we must stay informed about the living situations of our families, this is especially true for certain departments. Sponsorship, Volunteer and Campaign Departments often visit throughout the year as well, but nothing on the same scale as the start of year visits.

One of the things that impressed me the most was seeing a family living in just one small room with everything they need right there, but despite this the children always have a happy face. I ask myself, ‘How can children show such joy when living in the situations in which they live?’ ” - Patty Castillo (Campaigns Manager).