For Compassion Guatemala, 2020 represented hard work, tears and change — it was a year that challenged every person to rethink how to move forward. For Juan, a partnership facilitator who oversees the work of a dozen church partners there, the focus for 2021 is on renewal — new ways of teaching children, helping families, learning and moving forward.
The first thing Juan says he learned was how the lack of technology was an extreme obstacle for many families, especially in rural areas. How could the center staff stay connected to children who felt cut off from the world?
“The work of Compassion in Guatemala is significant. When children couldn't attend the center, we decided to create Skippy Magazine to keep sharing the program with the children, so the lack of technology that many of our families face won't be a gap to keep them from receiving the program,” says Juan. In addition, Compassion Guatemala is helping centers develop their technology abilities and equipment.
When the pandemic began, the national office provided food staples and gave children information about how take care of their health. If a child got sick, he or she received medical support.
“We figured out that families need more and more to sustain themselves. Parents got fired from their jobs, so we decided to create family farms,” says Juan. “Actually, in some areas we have been doing this for a couple of years, so now we'd like to implement this in every church.”
Families participating in the farms can cultivate food to sell or consume, giving them both income and food to eat.
“We worked hard last year, and I think this year we will work even more. The pandemic is not over; the challenges are not over,” says Juan.