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Family Strengthening in Argentina

Boy from Mar Del Plata, ArgentinaFamily Strengthening Program in Mar del Plata

This is a report from a member of staff based in Mar Del Plata, Argentina:

 

During 2008 the Family Strengthening Program in Mar Del Plata saw a large growth. We started January working with 62 children and we ended the year with 316.

The Director of the Program provided a great support on the training. She traveled to Tarija Bolivia with the Programs Advisor and the Territorial Coordinator of Lujan to receive an operational and strategic training for the program. After that trip, we implemented strong actions in Mar del Plata with fast results.

Nowadays, the Community Homes receive between 15 to 20 children per day and the Community Centers receive more than 40 children per day.

The Community Mothers were trained in different areas, such as:
Administration: management of resources, purchases, bills, etc.
Nutrition: weekly and summer menus, food preservation and handling, etc.
Pedagogy: the atmosphere in a classroom, how to handle educational material, recreational and pedagogical games, fortnightly schedules, daily routines, etc.
This year the Community Mothers organized two training meetings where they talked about the institutional matters of the SOS Children’s Villages and they strengthened their abilities. (Administration, structures and organization, work of the facilitators, etc.).
On the other hand, families work on specific matters such as:
      
-    Awareness of the importance of education of children;
-    Awareness of the importance of health;
-    Identity;
-    Domestic violence;
-    Reproductive health;
-    Self-esteem;
-    Management and advice;
-    Upbringing guidelines;
-    Family organization;
-    Derivation to network.

Further work we undertook:
-    Center for the protection of children
-    Health ward
-    Police station for women
-    Under Secretariat for women
-    Batán network
-    Municipal employment office
-    Local service for the promotion and protection of the children’s rights
-    Round table integrated by the private and public sector
-    Neighboring schools and nurseries
-    Professional training schools
-    HBSC – volunteer
-    PEBA (school program for the neighborhood).

Luckily, the community organized other activities with the children. Each Community Home forms a Family Committee, where there have been different activities to collect funds, to make trips with the children, to celebrate the Children’s Day, the Mothers’ Day, Christmas, etc. Many Family Committees have organized joint activities and meetings with other Community Homes.
In addition, there were two events for the children and their families, where all the Community Homes and Community Centers participated:
-    Movie and popcorn day;
-    Children’s Day – puppet show and afternoon snacks;
Christmas – HBSC volunteers gave toys to children

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