Connecting Parents, Supporting Families, and Writing a New StoryOthers, Community , Education
Contributed by: EduDeo Ministries
For Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel (AMG) in Guatemala, no one is left behind by their schools and centres. If everyone has a role to play in the story of transformation, then everyone will be taken care of and included.
But it’s not as simple as stating inclusion as a goal. Ruth, AMG’s Director of Education, describes the circumstances their organization is working in:
“AMG works with vulnerable children from different communities: children that live in red zones (gangs, drug dealing) and come from families with social problems such as alcoholism, family violence, and others. Children attending the programs suffer from different traumas due to the mistreatment they receive at their homes. Some parents lack education and information on how to support their children or how not to treat them with violence, as this is the only system they know.”
The challenges children face – the challenges that AMG is trying to combat – are systemic. And if they want to write a new story for their students that is bright with the light of Christ, then they need to go further back into the challenges.
“We have identified that it is important to invest time with the parents, teaching them and helping them to overcome their own traumas and attitudes.” So, AMG has created a program called “Padres Contectados” (Parents Connected) in which they work through social, physical, emotional-spiritual, and cognitive difficulties with about 1,500 parents and guardians each year.
What are the desired outcomes? Take Elizabeth’s testimony as an example. She is a parent who has already experienced transformation from her time in Padres Contectados. “To me Padres Conectados was very helpful and a blessing both spiritually and physically. Thanks to the Lord, as a family we go to the church all the time, but we always learn something new with Padres Conectados. One of the topics I most liked was about listening to my children. I learned that not just the adults have to speak, but children should have the right to speak too, so with the topic I learn to hear them. My children saw some transformation in me and one day when we talked, they told me that if I change they want to change too. Padres Conectados is a blessing to me and without doubt to other parents too.”
Ultimately, it’s more of Elizabeth’s testimony that AMG wants to see. They want to see parents and guardians playing a more involved role in Christ-centred education. They want to see parents and guardians informed and educated to better care for themselves and their families – breaking cycles of trauma and fear and building communities of peace and safety. A peace and safety that’s only found when you first find Christ.