Sunday, April 17, 2011

What about teenage orphans?

Mundoers took the opportunity to visit the Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza (RISE) during their trip to Puerto Vallarta. RISE is a non-profit shelter for babies and children under the age of 18 who have been turned over by the National Agency of Family Development (DIF), a Mexican government social services organization that protects the rights of children. Many of the children brought to RISE are not available for adoption; however, they spend their lifetime living at RISE. Numerous children come from unbearable situations having been abused, neglected, or simply abandoned by their families.

Currently, there are seven teenage girls living at RISE who feel a little out of place since they do not want to be grouped with the children, with the same rules, yet they are still young enough to live at RISE and not ready to live on their own. RISE is faced with the challenge of trying to keep the teenagers living at the Refugio, while supporting them through the crucial transition from childhood to adulthood.

The Refugio is striving to support and look after the teenagers, to surround them with love, while teaching them the necessary life skills to live independently as future adults. In order to do so, they have decided to build an onsite transition home for the teenagers. The outside of the building is built, they are now moving into the next phase of building the inside.

With this new transition home, they will instill values and skills to help them face life and make the right decisions while converting them into self-confident mature and responsible women.

Isa Mundo is looking into the possibility of working with RISE to help build a successful transition home.