So many exciting things have been happening at our SOLAHIS Centre in Medellin, Colombia that we wanted to share it with you! It has gone so much further beyond a facility that provides just the basics for the children who are being sponsored. It is a loving, caring place that fills the needs of children and families with knowledge of God, mental and emotional healing, growth, and some fun, too!
Children continue to receive meals six days a week. A contracted nutritionist has worked with the kitchen staff to design monthly menus of healthy and balanced
lunches to nourish the children. Families who are in desperate need of food are given groceries to take home.
The children at the beginning of the year received a new school uniform, if needed and school supplies. Shoes and additional clothing that was sent from Canada were given out. They also received medications, personal hygiene lessons, medical and dental check ups. In addition, fitness classes are offered to the children.
Two years ago, we hired a counseling couple to deal with the emotional issues of many of the children. They have surpassed our expectations with what they have accomplished and are providing the children. They regularly counsel children who deal with negative family/social issues, suffer with depression, and have endured abuse. They conduct classes on drug and alcohol awareness and issues they feel that the children are currently dealing with. Gustavo and Patricia are very much a part of every program that is offered at the Centre. The workload had been very heavy and as a result, another part time counselor has been hired.
A new tutor has been hired to assist the older students with their schoolwork. Students that pass their subjects each term, receive rewards, such as attending field trips or a weekend retreat. All children have the capacity to receive these rewards according to their abilities.
Currently, we have five students attending post-secondary education. A lunch and transportation is provided to these students.
The counseling couple is teaching Bible study, parenting, couples, and women’s classes to those who are interested. Some parents are even being taught gardening skills. English classes for the children have begun at the Centre. It is reported that knowing English gives a person an additional advantage when it comes to finding employment.
We all need a little fun and recreation in our lives! In addition to the needs we provide, the children want to come for the fun activities. Using the Centre’s sports court, the children play soccer as much as possible. Soccer tournaments are held, with the winning team awarded a prize. The swimming pool has also provided countless hours of entertainment and exercise to the children who normally would never have had access to an activity such as this. Children can attend craft classes, watch movies on the TV, and are taken out for ice cream treats. They can be a part of a dance group that performs at special events and churches.
Special days and events are celebrated such as, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Family Day, Women’s Day, etc.
The children are loved, cared for, and nurtured. Every child is special and important to us. In supporting the children and families, we hope that we can demonstrate God’s love and sacrifice for them and give them a hope for the future.
March 2015 Mission Trip
A group from Canada traveled to Medellin in March. There were several first time attenders. The group enjoyed spending time interacting with the children. They played soccer, helped teach English, made crafts, organized gift bags and gave out shoes. They helped with kitchen duties and the preparation of meals. Most importantly, they provided love, attention, and hope to the children who so desperately need it. The mission group was a huge blessing to SOLAHIS and was very much blessed by the Centre’s children and the people they met in Colombia.
Our SOLAHIS Annual General Meeting on Thursday May 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm at ——- All are welcome.
1. Staff – stress management, energy, and wisdom
2. University Students – perseverance, ability, choices
3. Pregnant teenagers – wisdom, strength, and health
4. Children – dealing with issues, school, hope
5. SOLAHIS Board and Members – wisdom and understanding
We pray that whatever we do, we do according to God’s will.