Rocio and Gaby

Reflecting on a Decade of Impact: Stories from Niños de Guatemala's Pioneers

Join us in commemorating the extraordinary journey of two of Niños de Guatemala’s longstanding members, whose unwavering commitment has been pivotal in shaping the lives of our students and their families over the past decade. 

Meet Rocio and Gaby, our psychologist and social worker who have worked with Niños de Guatemala through the school Nuestro Futuro for over 10 years. 

How would you describe the evolution and progress of Niños de Guatemala since joining the organization?

– Gaby, Social Worker: “Niños is an organization with positive energy, with a vibe that has always attracted many people who contributed their grain of sand, which contributed to its evolution and progress, from infrastructure and coverage.”

– Rocio, Psychologist : “I joined the NGO in August 2011; I remember the grades were from kindergarten to third grade. The school was still not completely built, and I witnessed the construction of three more classrooms on the second floor.”

What were the most significant challenges you faced in the early years and how did they overcome them?

SW: “More than challenges, they made me grow professionally and personally. Niños was just starting, excited to create, form, and dream, so each area was formed.”

– PS: “One of the first challenges, in my opinion, was the creation of the different programs since they had to be programs that adapted to the community.”

 

How has the psychosocial perspective in caring for children and their families evolved since your early days in the organization until now?

– SW: “When I started at Niños, there was no multidisciplinary team; currently, there is an area of Psychology, Social Work, and Academic, which allows for multidisciplinary work in each case, resulting in better outcomes.”

– PS: “The demand has been very high… Families are very committed to their children’s education, children are motivated from the moment they enter until they leave the educational center, and professional staff in various areas project positively in the community.”

 

How have you adapted and evolved to meet the changing needs of students and their families?

– SW: “Working as a team, looking with a broad criterion at each of the different needs; ultimately, the perspective of each area enriches the options and support opportunities for each child and family.”

– PS: “Integrating the multidisciplinary team has been fundamental, as has knowing and empathizing with students, their families, and professional teachers.”

Can you share a story that has left a mark on your journey with Niños de Guatemala? 

– SW: “Many stories, each with its characteristics over the years, have shaped me… Stories of children overcoming obstacles, the loss of some parents, and how they experienced grief, adapting to the new dynamics…”

 

Can you share a story that has left a mark on your journey with Niños de Guatemala? 

Rocio shared with us a fond story of a student whose name is Maria Jose “Majo”

The trajectory of Majo, a fourth-grade student, has been very special to me. She is a girl with a lot of resilience, very strong, and with a strong desire to attend school. Majo was born with a condition in her legs (Genu Varum), which are legs shaped like bows. From a young age, she underwent treatments, and her mother was always attentive to it despite the family’s poverty. 

Majo’s development in various areas has been slow. When she started her education at the Educational Center, in 2019, she underwent two surgeries to help correct the condition of her legs, which is why her attendance in pre-primary was unstable. When she returned to school, she still had difficulty walking, but she quickly managed to do so without major difficulty. 

She is characterized by being very cheerful and friendly and, above all, enjoying the activities she does in the classroom. She has been very quiet and shy, but currently, her social skills have improved, and she is seen playing with her classmates. She adores her teacher and has a lot of trust in her. Last year, Majo experienced the death of her mother, who died of a terminal illness, renal failure. 

Her mother struggled with her illness and underwent hemodialysis treatment twice a week. I remember that even in the last stage of the illness, her mother worried about Majo. At the Educational Center, Majo works very well; she is passionate about drawing and painting, and she is very creative. Her smile conveys a lot of tenderness, and her passion for being in school is evident.

As we conclude this insightful interview with our dedicated Social Worker and Psychologist from “Nuestro Futuro Primaria,” we extend our heartfelt gratitude to them for their unwavering commitment to the well-being and development of our students and their families. Their tireless efforts and compassionate support have truly made a difference in the lives of so many. As we continue our mission to provide high-quality and holistic education to children from low-income families, we rely on the generosity of supporters like you to make it possible. Your donations play a vital role in ensuring that we can continue to offer essential programs and services that empower our students to thrive. Join us in making a difference today by donating to Niños de Guatemala. Together, we can create brighter futures for our children and build a stronger, more inclusive community for all. Thank you for your support.