FAMILY STORIES

A FROM-THE-FIELD EXCLUSIVE FOR AMAYA FAMILY SPONSORS 

EMPOWERING ERWIN

From day one, a good parent starts to work themselves out of a job, giving their children what they need to stand on their own two feet. But, empowering others, perhaps especially with our children, is no easy task. Any experienced parent knows this.  It involves supporting another person through a myriad of challenges, helping them identify strengths and interests, then helping them to develop those strengths and interests, and providing opportunities but without creating dependency. It often means watching the person you love struggle and fail but insisting they get back up from each fall, with an extended hand for support. The process is filled with pitfalls and challenges.  

Parents also know that each child is different, and each will need different kinds of support. While Erwin is 18, and technically an adult, he still needs that scaffolding of loving adults to reach his potential. An energetic and kind young man, Erwin is continuing his studies through a local program that offers weekend classes. During the week, he works in the micro community, maintaining the grounds and working on the tilapia project. While Erwin is hardworking, he still requires a lot of guidance and follow-up to ensure he gets his schoolwork done. Despite those challenges, our staff in Guatemala has remained dedicated to supporting Erwin.   

Sonia, the life coach in the micro community checks with Erwin to ensure that he completes homework and reports to work on time. The goal in empowering Erwin is to develop his capacity for self-direction. When that area is strengthened, the plan is for him to enroll in a trade school to help him become an auto mechanic, which can provide him with a steady income and meaningful work that aligns with his interests. Our team in Guatemala is dedicated to helping Erwin achieve that goal and will work tirelessly and strategically to ensure his success.  

Written by Jeff Luehm, LAC Program Coordinator

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