As we haven’t been in touch regarding the Esperanza Foster Home since the Spring I thought it was time we told you all their latest news. Some short term volunteers who have been in Asuncion with a project called “Mission Paraguay” have just returned and it’s been great to hear of their visits to Esperanza. They took clothes and a sewing machine which they used to repair clothing and even a playpen. They also repaired toys and played with the children. They commented on the fact that language difficulties did not prevent them all from having fun together. They felt that the children looked well and happy despite the extreme cold that has been experienced in recent months.
The children in the home are still the same ones as when I last wrote. ( From what we can gather, the legal process leading to adoption is even less of a priority for President Lugo’s socialist government than for the last one – very disappointing ). The eldest child is Barbara who is now very proud to be at a Preschool run by the Anglican church. She and her younger brother Victor have been in care for over 2 years now and have still not had their legal situation resolved. The youngest child is Christian who is 13 months old and who arrived at the beginning of the year.
You may remember me mentioning Jose Antonio who had a hair lip and a cleft palate. He has had surgery on both now, his palate courtesy of the “Smile” programme which is well known worldwide. Apparently the operations have been successful but there is increasing concern over his delayed development in the areas of walking and talking. Having a child like Antonio with special needs is always a challenge but Juana ( our fulltime foster mum) is wonderful with all the children. This is even more admirable given that the level of help she receives is now considerably reduced. The increasingly difficult financial situation has meant that she is helped now by a smaller team and so has very little time off at all. She remains committed and positive however, for which we’re very thankful!
Teresa Maidana, who took over the supervision of Esperanza when we left Paraguay, has been looking into ways to increase fundraising in Paraguay, such as through sales of needlework and second hand clothes. But it is hard in Paraguay when there is so much need all around and most members of the Anglican church who run Esperanza are poor themselves. In fact Teresa has been ill recently and had to have a month off work. In her absence Sally Bartlett, Bishop Peter’s wife, was able to help out and support Juana.
The Esperanza Home has been open for nearly 5 years and if anything the need for such projects is now even greater in Paraguay than in 2005. If you’d like to continue supporting the home financially we’d be so grateful if you could check that your standing order is now going via SAMS (South American Mission Society) Ireland and no longer through SAMS GB. If you need copies of the necessary forms for standing orders or gift aid please send me your address and I’ll send them to you. Alternatively you can download the necessary forms from www.samsireland.com.
You can even make an on-line donation using a debit or credit card via www.samsireland.com/support . For all of these you do need to specify that the donation should go to the Esperanza Foster Home in Paraguay. Thank you.
On a personal note, thank you to everyone who has enquired about our own family life. Murray and I have had a good year in various temporary part time teaching posts. The British adoption of Alber, Jack and Luli is now complete and Alber has been awarded a Statement of Special Educational Needs which means he has a Teaching Assistant working with him for the majority of his hours in school. In fact his current Teaching Assistant will accompany him up to Secondary school very shortly!
I have just started a part time job at Cirencester College as a Personal Tutor and Murray will soon start fulltime languages teaching at Kingham Hill School near Chipping Norton. One implication of this is that he will finish the school year at the beginning of July and so may well arrange to visit Paraguay then to help on the “Mission Paraguay” projects and encourage all involved in Esperanza. If you fancy going with him let us know!
Penny and Murray Metcalfe
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