Our family support programs provide educational sponsorship, nutritional support and medical care to families which have a member with special needs.  This enables these families to continue to care for their family member in their home, rather than seeking out institutional care.

Educational Sponsor Program

Carlitos, one of our sponsor students, visiting us with his family

All too often children with disabilities are not allowed to attend public school, or when they are, they are met by neglect and even ridicule.  To help children with disabilities develop their potential, we provide tuition assistance for them to attend private schools in their area which are willing to accommodate their special needs.  If this is not a possibility, we hire private teachers to work with them for a few hours a week so they can still receive at least a primary education.

Through sponsors we also provide continuing education for the residents of Casa de Esperanza, who aspire to complete at least a high school education.  This is the first step in empowering them to become contributing members of their community.

Nutritional Support Program

At times, lack of proper nutrition is the underlying cause of many of the health related concerns of the disabled. Often, the type or severity of the disabilities requires a special diet to meet the needs of the individual.  In these instances we provide nutritional support so that these folks are able to remain in their homes and be cared for by their families.
Medical Assistance Program

While we are not a medical ministry, a healthy body is a prerequisite to attending school, finding a job or living in the community. Those with disabilities experience a wide variety of physical problems which require specialized medical care. Whenever possible we use the national healthcare system, which is woefully lacking, or charitable clinics such as the one at Obras Sociales del Hermano Pedro in Antigua.  Often, though, the severity of the needs of our folks exceed what these facilities can address.

We have developed relationships with a number of specialists and primary care physicians who have a sensitivity to the special needs of the disabled.   Most of these are private physicians who, while often giving us a discounted fee for their services, do require payment. To provide this care which is not affordable for these patients or their families, we have a medical fund established to offset these expenses.

Wheelchairs & Communication Systems

If one cannot get around or speak, living in the community is much more difficult, if not impossible.  If mobility and communication are the problems, wheelchairs and communications systems are often the solutions.

Working in coordination with  Hope Haven International and other ministries in the area, we help those with disabilities acquire wheelchairs and other assistive devices, free of charge.

Many children and adults with disabilities are unable to speak due to cognitive and physical limitations.  Since the ability to communicate is foundational to any type of education, we work to develop alternative methods of communication for theses individuals.  Often this is through the use of picture symbols which they can use to indicate their wants and needs, participate in simple social communication, and learn to express their thoughts.  When appropriate, sign language is also utilized to facilitate communication.