Major changesA lot has changed in the seven years since Mpowering People began its work in León. One of the biggest differences is the confidence most of the children and parents now have in themselves and their future. Their lives are less hopeless and they dare to dream. From the personal attention they are receiving we are seeing them grow - we could not wish for a better result.
Founder Dorien van Schie: “It’s great to hear street children like Wilber and Joen read street signs out loud. And when I saw Marco pick up and start to read a brochure on prostate problems in the doctor’s waiting room recently, I felt I wanted to cry. It wasn't exactly reading material for a nine year old, but he just looked so proud. Cesar, the first little boy I decided to support, I also hard to recognize anymore. He is not as shy as he used to be and of late always seems to be talking! Fifteen year old Angel, too, is doing much better. He still gets very angry when he's hungry, but he's been clean for a year now - on top of which he is one of our greatest anchors in the Adiact area! We are also very proud of his achievements at swimming.”
“Our parents too have changed dramatically since we started in 2003. A large group now actively helps us and most are really happy their children are being given the chances they never had. But we all have to work hard to confront the battle the children face every day. At home, at school and especially on the streets, there is a plethora of problems to solve. Time and time again we are caught off guard ... how to help a young girl who has been told she is bewitched, or a boy whose brothers and sisters have died simply because there was no money for medication. It is a constant uphill battle.”
The figures When Dorien van Schie started Mpowering People in 2003, we were helping six children. In 2009. we are proud to report that as a direct result of our projects and programmes:
• 160 street children attend primary school, secondary school and vocational school
• 225 children receive daily home schooling thanks to the support of children’s stamps.
• 12 children have successfully completed vocational school and are now moving on to our new junior programme
• Two young people are studying at university – and are paying their own way
• Three young people have permanent jobs and two have been placed in work-experience
We have seen a dramatic change in the attitude of parents and children and now share some great memories with more than 200 children through our sport, theatre and game projects and days at the beach! ...........and that is something of which we are immensely proud!