"This Sharing Makes us More Understanding"
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The "Our Home" project welcomes children from birth to age 5 who’ve been wounded by life. Liliana, a pediatric nurse, testifies to the courage and strength of four-year old Brigitte. Spotlight on correspondants of the Permanent Forum on Extreme Poverty in the World.

"NUESTRO HOGAR" ("Our Home") was created and facilitated by the AMI Foundation. It is a home dedicated to welcoming children from birth to age 5 who’ve been wounded by life. Some of these children are taken in by other structures, then entrusted to Nuestro Hogar because of a disability, developmental delay or other problem, or are referred directly by the authorities (hospitals, police, judges, etc).

The reasons for their arrival at the home are different for each child. They come to the home with painful past experiences: abandoned by their natural parents or family, physically and emotionally mistreated, abused, battered, or severely ill. The AMI Foundation is responsible not only for the children who arrive at the home, but also for the follow-up of those who return to their families. Reintegrating these children into their families is a constant preoccupation of the Foundation.

My name is Liliana and I’m a pediatric nurse at the AMI Foundation. I provide treatment to the children and accompany them in all their activities. I find this work fulfilling because it gives me the opportunity, day after day, to get to know the children better, to listen to them and to understand them. This sharing makes us more understanding. It enables us to join them and help them get their joy, happiness and innocence back.

In this home, each child receives attention, protection, respect, gratitude and other values from all of the adults around them.

Brigitte is a little girl suffering from cerebral paralysis. She works each day to try to move a little bit more, and manages to makes impressive movements. For me, it’s very painful and sad to see Brigitte’s despair at not being able to go outside and run like the other children. Nevertheless, for me she is a strong example of perseverance in her struggle for life.

The presence of this little four year old girl is a great opportunity for the home because she enables it to stay faithful to its mission. In fact, one of its fundamental values is the respect of each person’s rhythm. The progress that Brigitte has made since her arrival is impressive. She has shown an astounding capacity for communication and has shown much happiness, made easier thanks to her integration among the other children, who show her much affection.

It is quite an enriching experience to meet such special human beings because, while being so young still, they already know what it means to suffer and to be denied a home. And despite that, they keep an impressive amount of strength. The most important thing for me is to know that, here, their first judgments and values are going to built in a positive way. The knowledge that I gain each week and each month enables me to understand in-depth the particular attention that each child needs, while it also trains me to become a guide for these children.

Each child is a unique being, filled with values, happiness and, above all, a big heart with much love in it.

Liliana A., AMI Foundation, ECUADOR

To learn more about the AMI Foundation’s work, click here.

Comments

Upon reading this article, the Director of the Uganda Society of Hidden Talents, an association founded by people with disabilities, responds:

I was touched when I read the story about little Brigitte and commend Liliana for the great job she is doing in facilitating the marginalized children and promoting their self-esteem. Liliana’s understanding of the diversity of people and her positive attitude towards persons with disabilities are key factors in the inclusion process.

Little Brigitte’s social interaction with her peers and other members of the organization creates a sign of belonging and acceptance in this community, thereby prevents the feelings of exclusion. This has the effect on her cognitive and physical development enabling her to improve on her mobility and communication.

Disability should not be a limiting factor to social inclusion. I have an almost similar example from our school where one of the 4 year children who had never talked in her life, started speaking a few words which I guess, was a result of her social interaction with other children.

Persons with disabilities are part of the community. Please Liliana continue with your good work and God bless you.

Musenyente Elijah, Uganda Society of Hidden Talents (HITS)

Visit the website of the Uganda Society of Hidden Talents.

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