I finally feel like I have the ability to and will make a bigger impact than I previously felt. We have been taking care of the babies-changing them, taking them outside to play, feeding them, and making their bottles and leaving them to their naps- eating lunch and then reading to the kids thus far. Obviously we have been really helpfulful to the two ladies who are in charge of the babies, and we have given the babies multiple breaths of fresh air quite literally. (I´m not sure if I already mentioned that the babies don´t get to go outside when we aren´t there because it´s too difficult for two people to watch them all.) However, I have still felt like I wasn´t making that big of a contribution. If I was here for years I do think letting the babies play outside as they grow up would be very helpful. However, letting the babies go outside for 2 months does not feel very helpful.
We have discussed ideas with Paty- the administrator- about fundraising, but we were overwhelmed with all of the areas to fundraise for- medicine, food, paper and pens, buildings, and salaries. Paty kept showing us different things we could fundraise for and we felt too thinned out. We finally decided we were going to fundraise for the things we could literally put into place in the next month (cribs, strollers, paper, and pens) by making a website with a click here button. However, we do not know how to make a website, nor do we have website contacts in Antigua. I wanted to design a site that had a ¨click here to donate a crib¨, ¨click here to donate a stroller¨, ¨click here to donate paper and pens¨, and ¨click here to make a general donation to the hospicio button¨. I wanted people to know exactly where their money was going. Again, we still do not know how to do this. We also did not know if we had to make a bank account or if we could use the bank account of the hospicio.
Everytime we went in to talk to Paty we got vague information and more ideas as to what we could fundraise for. Today we talked to Paty and I am ready to take action. She is having a meeting with their website guy on Monday, and on Friday we will officially be helpful in a concrete way. We are going to translate the website and letters they send to hopeful donors into English. Their website will hopefully have a button to donate to specific causes within the Hospicio by the time we leave (just as I had planned to put on our website). I am so excited that they have a website and will be including these buttons! We will send letters to family and friends and corporations in Guatemala and perhaps the United States. The letters to family and friends will be to raise for the items we see necessary such as cribs, strollers, paper, and pens. The letters to the corporations will ask for donations for the building they want to build for the older children. The oldest children are 16 and need a place away from all the chaos of all of the little kids.
The cribs are tied up with rope, difficult to move, and fill up the entire room (a.k.a you can barely walk through the room). The strollers are each for one child, but they fit 2 in each by putting one child in the bag compartment down below the real seat. It is a quite ingenius technique, but now the bag comparments are torn. The babies need strollers where their butts do not touch the ground!
I am excited to complete the website so people can easily donate. Once the website is up and running we can send out letters and emails. I am also very excited to translate the website and letters into English. This is somehing I think will be helpful for a long time. The website will be sustainable, and people can continuosly make donations online.
Today we also started planning for giving English lessons. We made pictures that relate to English words and the alphabet to go above the pictures that are already on the wall of the play room that relate to each letter of the alphabet in Spanish. For example, we put a drawing of an apple above the A which is currently paired with a picture of a jester, and wrote the word ¨apple¨ out under the picture so in case we leave and someone can read English, but does not necessarilly know the vocabulary (something I do everyday when reading books in Spanish to the children here), he or she can still read the word out and teach the alphabet and vocabulary in English.
We are not only preparing to teach English lessons, we are also trying to make it sustainable. I feel really good about this day, excited to implement a 1:30 to 2:00pm English lesson each day, but I am also worried it will not be sustainable. We need to somehow develop a program where people can come in for a day or week and teach. There are always volunteers who speak English at the Hospicio (at least during our summer). It would be great to have a sustainable English program here.
Also, I am excited to move my Spanish class around so I do not have to leave the hospicio at 2:30 for class just when the boys are getting excited to read more stories. I look forward to the day when we have an English class from 1:30 to 2 and then reading time from 2:30 to 3:30. The kids have gotten into reading here, they just never read for fun when we are not there to read to/with them. I hope we establish a reading time they continue with when we leave.
I hope all of my ideas pan out here, but if all we end up doing is translating the website so the entire English speaking population can read about the Hospicio and is able to donate online, I will be very happy.