We have low threshold projects for children and adolescents in slum areas and poor housing districts of Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Ecuador. Every week, approx. 300 children are taking part in workshops, creative activities and support groups. These activities help prevent these children from slipping into street life, gangs, and drugs.
Since July 2023, we have gone twice a week to one of the squares where street children gather. We talk and play with the children and establish rapport with them. We offer the children workshops and kids' programs at our drop-in centre. In creative activities, they find a meaningful occupation that helps them escape the struggle for survival and lack of prospects and to get to know normal daily structures. Some of the workshop topics deal with Jewish festivals or special days of the week such as Shabbat, as the house is a former Jewish cultural center and the Jewish community has played an important part in the history of the city.
In February 2012, we started with creative workshops for children aged 5-18 years in a local slum. Week after week, between 70 and 130 Kinder come to take part in dance, crafts, painting, and games workshops, and to find an open ear for their problems. Even simple activities like drawing and painting, mean so much to the kids, as they don't usually own any toys or creative instruments themselves. Even young adults ask for permission to join the workshops to get a sense of direction for their lives. The facility provides a safe environment for the children to play.
Abdon Calderon, Ecuador
In April 2016, Ecuador was hit by a devastating earthquake, especially the region of Manabi. Our team in Guayaquil took humanitarian aid to the area, which then developed into a long-term project. In December 2016, we started with regular creative workshops for children aged 5-15 in Abdon Calderon, plus counselling services for adults. For the children in the area growing up in abject poverty these workshops are the only highlight they look forward to all week.
Every Saturday, the grounds of the Transformation House in a suburb of Asuncion, Paraguay are site of special activities for kids from the surrounding neighborhoods. About 30 kids and teenagers gather to play pool, tabletop football and soccer, or they do crafts and painting. Plus each of the children receives a snack.
Every Saturday, it is Fiesta time in La Victoria. 60 kids are having fun, playing, dancing, making music, doing sports, being creative, and even baking. After a joint start every child is free to pick their favourite workshop.
The Transformation House just outside of Sucre, Bolivia is venue for many kids' parties. Children from the surrounding area come to play and have fun, to try out the playground equipment and to enjoy the care and attention of our staff. Between 30 and 40 kids romp around the grounds, complete the various activity stations, sit still to have their faces painted, do crafts, bake cookies… and it is hours later when they all return home tired, but deeply satisfied in every sense of the word.