The El Redil Children’s Home is located in the city of Asunción, Paraguay’s capital and has operated uninterruptedly since 1944.
The main social issues which affect children in Paraguay include:
- Widespread poverty that forces children into the streets—taking them out of school and family environments.
- Child labor is an urgent problem. Poverty forces children to sell items on the street.
- Young girls are vulnerable to child trafficking .
- A high mortality rate and chronic malnutrition especially affect the urban areas due to the number of people migrating. Less than 30% of the population has medical insurance.
- Many children suffer undernourishment. If these children do not receive food, they are at high risk of health issues.
- Between 15 and 40% of children do not attended school.
The children who live in “El Redil” Children’s Home experienced these same issues and risks before coming to the school. Now, the Children’s Home offers them a safe, clean and comfortable place to live, with a staff to care for them. Everyone at the home works together as family, with each person having responsibilities and receiving benefits. The Children’s Home is a temporary solution, where children stay and grow while the adults responsible for them re-build their lives, so that eventually the families may reunite.
PROGRAM ACTIVITY IDEAS & RESOURCES:
- “Hello”: ¡Hola!
- “My name is”: Me llamo
- “Merry Christmas”: ¡Feliz Navidad!
- “Christmas Joy”: El Gozo de Navidad
Homes, churches and courtyards are decorated with “pesebres” (nativity scenes).
TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY FOODS:
Christmas dinner includes Chipa Guazu (“big bread”), a cornmeal bread pudding, is similar to cornbread. The main dish is usually lechón – which is pork (suckling pig) and includes Christmas sweets, such as turrón (nougat candy) and pan dulce (sweet breads).
GAME: The Shadow (La Sombra)
Assign pairs of children to work together. One child in each pair is the leader and the other child is “the shadow” or “La Sombra.” The leader runs around and the partner must try to copy his movements exactly, as if he were a shadow. The teacher/group leader may call out movements for the lead child to make. For example: they might instruct children to make arm circles; run backwards; tiptoe; skip, etc. After a few minutes, children change places, so that each has a turn being the leader and the shadow.
CRAFT: Make a Nativity