Field Notes

STORIES OF INSPIRATION AND EMPOWERMENT

RESTORING IDENTITY

You’ll notice her smile first. Rosa, a bright-spirited eight-year-old girl, calls Casa de Esperanza home. She loves to jump rope and color, and others in her community know her by her kindness and care. House of Hope: an apt home for a girl such as Rosa, who’s found much hope and restoration here.

Rosa’s road to Casa de Esperanza at four years-old wasn’t an easy one. Born to a mother suffering from mental illness, with no record of her father, Rosa needed care her mother could not provide. She found her way to a nutritional center in rural Guatemala to get help for her severe malnutrition before eventually coming home to Casa de Esperanza. 

Identity is a Human Right 

The UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child declares a right most people take for granted: the right to an identity. Rosa never received proper registration at her birth, and she had difficulty registering her birth with Guatemalan officials. Though many of us don’t think about our birth certificates regularly, not having one can prevent children from progressing and becoming members of society — without a birth certificate, Rosa could not attend school.

At Casa de Esperanza, Horizon staff members were able to help Rosa secure these documents, securing her identity in an official way. Rosa is enrolled in first grade and actively participates in all her activities. Her housemother, Marlene, shared how helpful Rosa is around the house, and that she likes to keep her things organized. 

But there is another aspect of Rosa’s identity, one that has always existed and cannot be taken away. In community devotional times, Rosa learns about her God-given identity as God’s beloved daughter, and His love for each of His children. Living at Casa de Esperanza provides Rosa with the resources she needs to live a thriving life of self-sustainability, as well as teaches her to see the root of her identity and worth.
Written and Provided by Latin American Program Coordinator, Jeff Luehm

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