This month of May we are honoring mothers and their role in building strong families by sharing stories from our Family Preservation Program.
Edeline and Rose-Andrès arrived at Pwoje Espwa in August of 2016, brought by their father who felt he couldn’t provide the care they needed.
It was easy to see that these two were in desperate need of consistent care and attention. Edeline was a sweet little 4-year-old with a quiet smile, while Rose-Andrès, at 2 years old, struggled with a tracheal blockage that inhibited her breathing and growth. She was very skeptical of people, and could not talk or walk.
Their father, an illiterate man with a severed relationship with the girls’ mother, works in agriculture and tending to livestock in nearby Camp Perrin. He lives in a small house that he co-rents with another person, which comprises of 2 bedrooms and houses 7 people. His income from days working out in the field help to pay for the lease, but meeting other daily needs is often out of reach. With no care-giving or financial support from their mother, their father was floundering.
Now 6 years old and 4 years old, Edeline and Rose-Andrès have thrived with the love and support they have received in residential care at Pwoje Espwa. Espwa nurses and staff members give Rose-Andrès medical attention, and today she is talking (often like a sassy 4-year-old would!), running around with the other girls in the village, and is loved by all on campus. Edeline excels in her classes and activities in the kindergarten and is always eager to share a giggle.
With they are flourishing in our residential care program, and after careful evaluation by the social workers at Pwoje Espwa of their family’s capacity and needs, reintegration with their father is unlikely. Instead, the sisters will follow a long-term plan in our residential care program.
In some cases, dislocation from their parents has already undermined the possibility for children to be reunited with their families. This is why keeping the family involved in as many areas of the children’s lives as possible is critical to the Family Preservation program.
While the sisters will remain under the care of Pwoje Espwa, the family’s needs will not be abandoned.
Social workers will be seeking community services or projects that can build their father’s capacity to become financially and physically stable enough for his daughters to potentially be reunited with him before completing their residential care program. Throughout their time at PES, their father will be including in his daughters’ plans through frequent visitations, activities, and involvement in the care of the children.
By bringing family into the process we keep the connection to their family and community alive for a more successful reunification.
As Edeline and Rose-Andrès continue to grow into their unique, strong personalities, their father will also be growing in his capacity to one day feel secure enough to be reunited with his daughters.