#BetheBridge – The Story of Sr. Sabino and Srta. Esther
When we became part of the HBI team, our first step was understanding that we would be the parental figures for 20 children with complex family histories and challenging backgrounds. Our job was to provide a home environment because a family setting is the best way for children to cultivate a sense of safety, autonomy, and love.
The first days are always the hardest, because the children find themselves in a completely foreign facility with people they don’t know. In the beginning, most of them refuse to speak to us and have a hard time adjusting to order, structure, and routine. So our second step was to accept that our days in Casa Girasoles would be long and hard, but that change would eventually come as the children learn to see that we are adults they can trust.
Each day at Casa Girasoles starts with a prayer. We wake the children up, get them ready for school, and send them off. When they’re back home from a day of lessons, we share hearty meals together, bake or do carpentry, help them with their homework, and play games. They learn and have fun through these different activities, and it heartens us to be part of that. Nothing compares to the enormous joy we share with a child when he receives his ID card or when he finishes the school year proud of his grades.
Taking our steps together
We work because thousands of children in Perú are denied their right to a wholesome family life. And so, though we are not their biological families, we become their family – parents, siblings, uncles, and aunties – all cheering for their happiness and success.
As the children grow under our care, we grow alongside them. We take training courses in education and pick up useful skills, like baking. We are also constantly learning from the children themselves: they teach us to be tolerant, to be creative, and to fulfill our promises. In each child, we see a world of possibilities and a promising future. And being their proud houseparents, we commit to take the steps alongside them, with love and respect, to help them reach that future.
You can take the steps with us too by becoming an HBI Champion today. #BeTheBridge and sign up here.
#BeTheBridge features the people championing Peruvian children who are transforming their own futures. In our first story, Sr. Sabino and Srta. Esther share their experience as Directors and Houseparents to the boys of Casa Girasoles. HBI translated the interviews from Spanish to English.
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