There are moments when we feel alone in this calling to form a movement of hope. There are moments when we feel that no one else cares. There are moments when we feel that people are not hearing the call. There are moments when we are about to lose all that we have worked for because people are not helping. But…. there are moments that remind us that God is in control and that this is not our vision, this is not our ministry it is His and we are all united in this ministry of Jesus…..A Hope Movement.
The Hope Movement is a grassroots ministry, it started humibily by a poor young person, without connections to funds, but only a connection to the Most High. We have been struggling to get people inspired to help us by becoming financial givers to help us complete the will of God. We felt that the doors of our Haven of Hope Outreach Center in Escuintla, Guatemala was going to close because of the lack of financial support, but in our dark moments, God sends people who decide to listen to His voice and give.
These are our Angels, our friends, our family and we love them deeply.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Angeles Rossemary Bonilla Tay is only 2 1/2 years old, born 31 weeks prematurely due to an accidental fall by her mother, Esna Patricia Tay de Bonilla. The clinical Diagnosis given by doctors at birth is a long list of hydrocephalus by intraventricular hemorrhage, prematurity of 31 weeks, bronchopneumonia and valvular dysfunction.
Their current clinical diagnosis is hydrocephalus, placement ventriculoperitonial low pressure valve, convulsive syndrome and obesity. Instituted treatment: multiple neurosurgery and pediatrics, valve placement and outplacement, prescribed medications and therapies in the IGSS ESCUINTLA.
The father of Angeles abandoned the family shortly after birth, because of the health condition of the baby, her mother, 21, lives in the house of her grandmother with Angeles and because of the constant care required to care for Angeles, she can not find a job. The Hope Haven Outreach Center opened our doors to Angeles and her mother providing nutritious meals and therapy treatments.
On Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. Angeles passed away from physical complications. She is now in the arms of God free of pain, her disabilities are now abilities, her health is restored, and she is dancing on streets of gold. In a short time on this earth Angeles impacted lives and we grew to love her with all of our hearts. She will be forever missed and will never be forgotten. It is interesting that the word Angeles means Angels, for now she residents with them.
The Hope Movement in honor of Angeles and many children with similar conditions will be launching a new unique program to help those with special needs. We must be the voice of the voiceless and hope to the hopeless.
Please keep the family of Angeles and her extended family in our Haven of Hope Outreach Center in prayer during this difficult time.
We Love You Angeles!
In general, the Guatemalan State does not provide services for the disabled population. Public infrastructure (sidewalks, buildings, parks, etc.) does not take into account the special requirements of this population as to access and mobility. Nor are there social programs for supporting the disabled population. As a result of this situation, it is common to witness persons with hearing and speech loss, paraplegics, blind persons, or other disabled Guatemalans begging for money on the streets, in the buses and in restaurants, often placing themselves in degrading situations or at risk of physical harm in traffic while soliciting for subsistence income.
During 1996, civil society sectors initiated campaigns to bring attention to a number of social issues, largely motivated by the political space created by the peace negotiations between the government and the revolutionary forces (Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity) that finalized late that year. One of the results of these campaigns was law 135-96, which takes into account attention, development, training, participation and the exercise of rights in relation to disabled persons, addressing as well issues of equal opportunity and the elimination of all forms of discrimination.
In spite of this advance, up until now, no budget has been assigned to implement programs for this segment of the population. According to one source working with the Guatemalan Committee in Favor of the Blind and Deaf, 7-8 persons per 1,000 population suffer from deafness and/or speech loss. These figures, reportedly from the World Health Organization (WHO), when projected to the total population signify that there are 70,000 to 80,000 persons with hearing and/or speech loss. Inforpress spoke with the national office of the WHO, but the person interviewed could not confirm the figures. [The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported in Health in the Americas 1998, Vol. II that "0.7% of the Guatemalan population has some form of disability -- physical in 60% of the cases, sensory in 36%, and mental in 3.1%. By sex 58% of the disabled were males, 42% were females" [www.paho.org].
As part of law 135-96 the government created the National Council for Attention to the Disabled (CONADI — Consejo Nacional para la Atención de las personas con Discapacidad). Serving on the council are delegates from the public sector and civil society, including the universities. CONADI is currently working to pass enabling legislation, that would include a budget assignment and concrete commitments for carrying out the law’s stipulations. “Meanwhile, civil society organizations are left to resolve the problem created by the absence of government resources,” comments Sebastián Toledo, representative of the blind population in CONADI. In general, the disabled population receives no state services, leaving a void filled by non-governmental organizations, families, communities and the survival instincts of the disabled population.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) specialized in assisting the disabled are limited in number. The fact that most Guatemalans lack funds for transportation, materials and quotas, severely limits the explicit demand for such services, although demand clearly exceeds the services available. None of the sources consulted know of NGO services in the rural areas that specialize in assistance for persons with physical disabilities.
The situation facing the disabled population is difficult, given the limited resources and services available from the National Committee, and the fact that the State shows no signs of interest in providing concrete solutions to its problems. Public and private buildings lack conditions that facilitate access, government offices do not provide interpreters, there is a general lack of signs, signals or written indications available for the hearing impaired. There is a general lack of promotion, outreach, and publicity of rights for the disabled in the field of education, work, health, physical infrastructure, transportation, etc.
Inforpress found no evidence that rural or urban communities have adapted their services, installations or infrastructure to the needs of this population.
Most of the special attention available to this population comes from their families, and the level of care in part depends on the economic capacity of the families, and their willingness to maintain the person. Frequently disabled persons seek income by begging in buses and restaurants, often selling decals or candies, or simply handing out cards that state their disability and ask for help. Although Guatemala, as with many Latin countries, has a strong social fabric, with community support and extended families, the gravity of the economic situation, in which 80% of the population lives in poverty, exerts a powerful dehumanizing pressure on families, especially affecting the non-productive population.
Private schools and rehabilitation centers exist, but they do not cover the latent demand, and the costs of such programs far exceed the economic capacity of most of the population. The lack of attention on the part of the State and the limited number of NGOs involved in this area make it impossible to quantify the unmet demand in Guatemala. Most persons with hearing/speech loss are unaware of the few private services available.
What few social services that do exist in Guatemala tend to be within or near the capital city. Difficulties regarding access to these services are far greater for the deaf-mute population from rural Guatemala, especially given the fact that an important part of the Guatemalan population does not speak Spanish, given the fact that 48% of the population is indigenous, and that within this population there are 21 distinct language groups. Adding to this is the fact that 55% of the rural population lives on less than US$1 a day, and of that budget, families spend 1% on education (1998-99 National Family Income and Expenditure Survey). For these families, 52% of their budget is used to cover food needs. The capacity to finance special education or training is extremely limited.
In general, health care is precarious. According to United Nations offices such as the Economic Commission for Latin America, and the UN Development Program, national per capital annual health expenditures averages US$25. This data provides the general context of extreme deficiency of health services. Given this context, even less can be expected for the special needs population.
In the Guatemalan countryside, 55% of the population lives on less than US$1 a day. Country-wide that figure is 33%. Of that population, only 1% of the family budget is spent on education. In general, formal employment opportunities are lacking, and work in the informal sector provides income below the poverty line. According to the United Nations, 80% of the population lives in poverty. Given these precarious conditions that affect the productive population, the resources available for those with physical disabilities are extremely scarce. This situation leaves most of this population in a state of dependency or underemployed in menial jobs. The absence of vocational training programs and campaigns creating awareness regarding the disabled population exacerbates this exclusion. These factors leave the disabled population vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation in the workplace.
The Hope Movement has children with disabilities enrolled in our Haven of Hope Outreach Center and we are expanding this program to provide free wheel chairs, therapy, education housing solutions and spiritual guidance to children with special needs. This creative program is called Children of Purpose.