Single Mothers Home

"Hogar de la Madre y el Niño"

Supporting this Home was not only our first project, but also the reason why AVANZAR was founded.

Back in 1999 during one of Margarita‘s trips to Cuenca - Ecuador she heard of the "Hogar de la Madre y el Nino" (Single Mother‘s Home), a home that welcomes up to 20 young pregnant women and/or abandoned mothers and their children who have no place to go.

After visiting the home, it became clear that the nuns who run it, needed support urgently in order to offer the mothers and their children a safe, hygienic and comfortable place to live, as well as the social assitence needed in their cases.

Now days as soon as a woman and her child (children) arrive to the home, we take care that they receive medical as well as psychological assistance. Furthermore her case is studied and the necessary legal steps are taken in order to assure her and her children‘s well being and safeness.

In addition we look for a school for the children and a job for the mothers and since many of the mothers are teenagers (between 13 and 15) or have not finished school we also support them to continue with their education or to learn a commercial activity.

During the time that the mothers spend at the home they receive periodical information on how to take care of their children, hygiene, proper nutrition, illness prevention, legal rights, first aid, contraception, etc etc.

Once the women and children left the home, we keep the contact and support them to re-integrate and find their place in society. Furthermore, they are always welcome to take part in our information activities, medical check ups, workshops, celebrations and more.

 

What have we done over the years?

Since the begining of the project and until these days we have:

  • Offered training and seminars in skills such as: cooking, sewing, plumbing, handicrafts, small electrical installations, etc.,
  • Supported microfinance activities through credits for the mothers that had completed an education with us or were ready to undertake some kind of commercial activity,
  • Offered the work and the expertise of AVANZAR‘s professionals: a project manager, a social worker and a psychologist,
  • Acquired and coordinated the volunteer work of professionals such as nutritionists and doctors.
  • Supported all mothers and children to receive an education by sponsoring the whole or part of the tuition and materials,

Offered workshops in:

  • elf-esteem and personal development,
  • Human and Women‘s Rights,
  • first-aid methods and accident prevention,
  • sexual education, pregnancy and contraceptive methods,
  • government organizations and the support they offer to single mothers and their children,
  • improving working conditions.

Offered psychological support through:

  • weekly group talks
  • personal treatments.
  • Offered legal support by solving legal cases such as recognition of paternity, abuse, and pension cases,
  • Mediated in order to reintegrate the women and their children into their families, when appropriate,
  • Provided information on health, nutrition and sanitation in order to prevent illnesses and their recurrences,
  • Enabled people to access all available social assistance and compensation (pensions for the children, bonuses for underprivileged people, etc),
  • Contributed to the growth of internal projects such as a Pasta Fabric, an Atelier and a second -hand shop, which gives the mothers the opportunity to learn, work and earn money and gives the home an income,
  • Built a new kitchen: new flooring and ceiling, glass-windows, doors, sink, replacement of water pipes, new electrical wiring, new gas pipe, etc.,
  • Built a day playroom for the children and furnished it with tables, chairs, beds, rugs, TV, toys, etc.,
  • Donated a washing machine,
  • Completed a renovation and maintenance of sanitary installations such as the bathroom, showers etc.,
  • Shipped fabrics for curtains and bed sheets (donated by Maison Interior from Zürich),
  • Made regular donations for food and medicines,
  • Made donations of clothing, beds, bed sheets, mattresses, pillows, etc.,
  • Made a donation of kitchen aids,
  • Created a lavatory next to the kitchen where children and mothers wash themselves before and after meals,
  • Constructed and installed a new metal front door for the house,
  • Celebrated festivals and included economical support for quarterly leisure activities.


Subprojects

Pasta Fabric

A small but well established pasta fabric functions in the button floor of the home‘s building. They are known by their preservatives and additives free and healthy products, which are commercialized in the markets of Cuenca.

The person in charge of this fabric is one of the mothers who used to live at the home. Now days and thanks to this job, she is able to have her own flat and live independently with her children.

The fabrications and sales of the products are done by the nuns and the women living at the home.

Sewing / Costume Atelier & Second Hand Shop

This atelier started as a workshop where the girls could learn to sew.

Today they fabricate costumes for sale or rent and take contracts from schools and companies to make their uniforms, fabric bags, etc.

In addition to it, in this atelier used clothes donated by the citizens of Cuenca, are repaired, clean and iron to be sold to the public.

Read the report of our volunteers Alix and Ricarda.


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Atelier Avanzar creates handmade products. Each one of our pieces is made with love, dedication, and lots of hope  for a better future.

 

 

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