Juancito* is a playful boy who likes helping others. The Casa Girasoles staff love his infectious energy and eagerness to help sweep, mop, and clean the home, even if it takes him a little longer than the older boys.
But this wasn’t always the case. When Juancito was introduced to HBI by child protective services, he was in crisis. He had left his mother and grandmother, who could not feed or take care of him on top of their other young children. At age 8, Juancito was wandering the city’s outskirts, where child protective services found him.
In December 2019, Juancito was welcomed into Casa Girasoles for temporary shelter.
When Perú closed onsite classes due to the pandemic, Juancito and other kids with learning challenges needed support adapting to online school. With a learning consultant, Casa Girasoles redesigned its education program into a Montessori-inspired, inquiry-based learning model. The home, through the support of donors, also purchased computers and technical equipment the boys can use to learn and create. The effect? The boys took ownership of their learning, even setting up a “Mayor of Girasoles” activity – complete with candidates campaigning and debating on political platforms – to better understand Perú’s government system. Juancito loved his time as a campaigner, and his candidate won as “Mayor of Girasoles.”
Juancito’s story reflects the stories of many children in Casa Girasoles, all made possible through the big hearts of HBI’s donors. Under the care of stable and trustworthy adults, and with personalized medical, social-emotional, and educational support, boys like Juancito are building a life of learning, confidence, resilience, and agency to pursue the future they deserve.
*Names changed to maintain privacy.