The Esperanza Home for Children was started over 30 years ago and now provides a home to over 85 children aged 2 weeks – 18 years old.
The children arrive at Esperanza by judge order having survived significant abuse and neglect. The children are cared for by a group of missionary sisters (similar to Mother Teresa’s nuns) that have dedicated their lives to creating a safe and loving environment for these children. The children are provided daily meals, clothing, medical attention, enrollment in school, or specialized education. There is also an on-site team of psychologists and social workers. But the most important factor to the children’s psychological rehabilitation is the love and care given to them by the missionary sisters.
Mission Santa Maria has partnered with Esperanza to cover the cost of education (school fees, school supplies, and school uniforms) for every child living at the home. Sometimes, children arrive at the home having never attended school in the past. To support the education of these children we provide tutors for homeschooling until the children are caught up and can enter Santa Maria Del Fiat School.
Mission Santa Maria also supports special projects such as safe drinking water, hot water systems for bathing, and washing machines to ease the burden of laundry (for 85 children!). When necessary, we have also undertaken larger scale projects such as the construction of new bathrooms for the boys.
2020 Updates and Accomplishments
In 2020, Mission Santa Maria provided school tuition and school supplies for 75 children at the home. Mission Santa Maria employed 4 staff members to assist with distance learning and the psychological needs of the children. The 4 staff members were crucial to helping meet the exceptional needs of the home throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They led small groups of children to oversee virtual learning, they provided personalized tutoring to other groups of children who had not previously been to school, and they helped with cooking and cleaning to ensure that the children’s most basic needs were met.
In addition, Mission Santa Maria increased the emergency food fund at the mission home by $8,000 in 2020, for a total fund of $13,000. The emergency food fund was drawn on several times throughout the year ensuring that the children always had something to eat. Finally, Mission Santa Maria completed a kitchen update, installing an industrial sized oven as well as a ventilation system to improve safety and health in the kitchen.