Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Seven-year-old Francia resides at Pwoje Espwa, where she attends the kindergarten school and receives loving care from staff. Arriving in September of 2016, Francia came from a rural community near Torbeck, not far from campus.
Francia’s mother and father provided what little they could for her and her four siblings. The family calls a small, one-room shelter made of sheet metal home. When they are able to purchase food at the market, cooking is done, using wood as a fuel source, in the courtyard out front. The plot just beyond their home serves as an outdoor latrine. With no access to electricity, the family illuminates their dwelling with candles or a small incandescent lamp when the sun sets beyond the mountains and darkness settles.
The rural community in which the family lives almost completely lacks social services to provide any support to vulnerable families. Located not too far from Espwa’s campus, Francia will still be able to attend school.
Francia’s father is illiterate, and used to rely on income from fishing to provide his share for his family. However, as the cost of living has increased, he is no longer able to access the necessary inputs to fish. Francia’s mother received a primary education, and keeps a shop in town where she sells chickens. Finding sustainable income for her father is difficult, and money from selling chickens is not fruitful enough to provide for the whole family.
Her parents recognized the precariousness of their condition, and knew they needed help in caring for their children. They reached out to Pwoje Espwa for help in providing the care Francia needed to survive, and an education for her to have access to a promising future.
Now in her third year in the kindergarten school, Francia is happy, healthy and an attentive student.
Francia’s parents believe the best place for any child to be is with their biological parents.
More than anything they hope for Francia to return home, but know that their living conditions must improve for her to have a safe, comfortable life. Saying their economic means are too weak to provide a home for Francia, they need shelter support from Pwoje Espwa.
Given the extreme vulnerability of the family, and their motivation and potential to provide a stable home, Pwoje Espwa will be constructing a new home for Francia’s family.
Families in the community surrounding Pwoje Espwa have the highest potential for benefitting from our Family Preservation Program due to their proximity to campus. Pwoje Espwa will be able to provide Francia’s family with immediate physical security in building them a new home, while connecting them to community resources like job and business training.
Once their home is complete and her parents have more stability, we will be able to reach our ultimate goal – reuniting Francia with her family.
There are many other families like Francia’s living in communities with limited or no access to clean water, medical care, or schools, and in homes that are in desperate need or repair or complete reconstruction. With a limited budget, we can only provide so many new homes like the one that will be built for Francia and her family.
We need help to overcome this challenges and serve more families so that their kids can one day return home and be united with their families.