The Jardín de Esperanza or “Garden of Hope,” is just that. It is an orphanage that gives hopes to children that have been affected by HIV or AIDS. Not all of the children have been affected by the virus, but their families have. Those who do not have AIDS have lost their parents or their family can no longer care for them. Currently the orphanage is home to 11 children from the ages of 3 to 15 years old.
The Jardín de Esperanza is located just outside of Asunción, Paraguay in a suburb called Villa Elisa. The orphanage was opened in 1995, but has changed administration since then. In 2016, Reinaldo Mongelos and his family became the main caretakers for the children. They are working to create a place of love and solidarity for the children and make the community come around them to give them the support that they need, not only financially, but with supplies and just the gift of time. They work under the principle beliefs of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As followers of Christ, they know the gift of life and do what they can to support an environment based on love and social responsibility. They fight to defend the children’s rights of equality and justice, by creating awareness and combating the preconceived notions and discrimination of the HIV/AIDS virus.
That is where our project comes in. While we may not all be able to go to the orphanage and spend time with the kids, we can in fact be apart of the community that supports them! The directors have a strong social media presence to present to their community the physical needs of the children, such as donations of food, clothes, and even more recently, mattresses! On top of this, they also ask for financial help for the children’s medications. The government pays for the HIV testing and the direct HIV medications, but they do not pay for any other type of care. As humans though, we know that physical needs are not always enough.
We all need food and shelter in our lives, but we crave love and knowledge. All of this plays into our overall health.The promotion of a healthy and responsible lifestyle prepares children for their life after they leave the walls of the orphanage. Our projects objective is to provide six computers, a computer teacher, and various tutors to come during the week, while establishing a religious foundation. The tutors will be for the various age groups and subjects. Having a full, complete education will greatly enhance the lives of these children. All of this will be done through local partners in hopes to advance the community ties.
Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones de Paraguay, or what we know in America as Lutheran Hour of Paraguay is helping us attain these goals by offering bible study weekly for the children.
Therefore, we have created a team from the congregation of Cristo Rey in Asunción and myself to partner with the administration to care for the education of the children to help them advance in their future endeavors. First and foremost, we are concentrating on the education of the children, as well as continuing to walk alongside the administration to make sure that physical necessities and medicine are provided when needed.
For the protection and privacy of the children we do not use their names or post photos. But that doesn’t mean you cannot have some insight into their lives. Here is some information about the children that call the Jardin de Esperanza home! Here is a little bit about a few of the children.
For the privacy and safety of the children, we do not post their photos. Thank you for your understanding!
To help financially with this project, click the GIVE button on the right and select “Jardín de Esperanza- Paraguay.”
To visit their website click here or visit https://hogarjardindeesperanza.org/. Also check out the news article written about them by the local newspaper in Asuncion. Read it by clicking here! The website is in Spanish, but offers an English option or most computers allow for a translation option.
“Like” the Jardín de Esperanza on Facebook to follow their story by clicking here.
Please feel free to contact Sarah Burr with any questions!