This month of May we are honoring mothers and their role in building strong families by sharing stories from our Family Preservation Program.
Sweet Esta has been a resident at Pwoje Espwa for three years. Now 7 years old, she was brought under the care of PES because her mother couldn’t provide for Esta’s basic needs like food and an education. As an illiterate woman whose husband abandoned her and her two young children, finding a sustainable job or income-producing activity to support all of them often feels like trying to cross a vast ocean in a paddle boat.
Over the last two years, a stable home has been built for her family by PES. However, this still has not been a promise for stability for Esta’s mother.
For many families in Haiti finding secure shelter is one of their primary needs. Keeping their children and loved ones physically safe can feel like an overwhelming undertaking. But while achieving the physical security of body is one of the most important and basic needs for any human being, it is only a building block to achieving success in other areas of life.
According to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – a classification system that reflects the universal needs of human beings to partake in behavioral motivation – physiological needs are only the base of the pyramid towards the final stage of self-actualization. In order for a person to reach the top of the pyramid, each successive level must be achieved to move forward. In other words, individuals most basic needs must be met before they become motivated to achieve higher levels of success in other areas of life.
Ensuring fulfillment of physiological needs – like water, food, shelter, and clothing – is only one piece of supporting vulnerable children and their families like Esta and her mother. While Esta’s family benefited from the construction of a secure home, her mother still does not have the secure economic capacity to care for her daughter.
Esta’s mother lives in the house with her mother and brother. As she tends to a shop in the local market, collectively the adults earn less than US$60 per month.
Building a home for Esta’s family is only the first step in reuniting her with her mother. Espwa will continue to offer support for the family when Esta returns home. Esta’s continuing education will be a priority, as well as job counseling for the family so that their possibilities for earning more can be expanded.
With their 12 hens and access to a small plot of land for farming, Pwoje Espwa can provide financial help to the family start a fruitful garden for food and an expanding animal husbandry business.
By giving families the support and tools they need achieve their basic levels of needs, we are helping to build stronger families and communities.
Esta’s mother believes that a child is safe only when he or she is with their biological parents.
We agree that with their family is where children achieve more success in all areas of their life. Esta’s mother warmly and excitedly welcome the return of her daughter to her home. Because the best place for a child to be is with their family.