At the young age of 5, Rickens was placed in an orphanage by his mother who did so in hopes of providing him with a brighter future. His mother, Fabiola, was a single mother living in extreme poverty and struggling to meet his basic needs. In September 2016, Fabiola placed Rickens at ESPWA because of her lack of understanding around the dire consequences that family separation has on a child.
"It didn't take long for Fabiola to realize...that no one else on earth could truly care for her son and help him develop the way his own mother could."
A few years later, when we made the decision to reunify all ESPWA children in the orphanage with their parents, we focused on educating parents about the importance of their roles in the lives of their children, including Fabiola. Fortunately, it didn't take long for Fabiola to realize she'd made a terrible mistake and that no one else on earth could truly care for her son or help him develop the way his own mother could.
After conducting both a psychosocial and economic evaluation of Fabiola's family and our community assessment, our social workers customized a plan for Fabiola to help her achieve independence and reassume the care of Rickens as well as her other two children.
Her plan included:
Parental Education and Counseling Fabiola participates in our trainings on child protection, parental responsibility and proper childcare. She and her children also benefit from family counseling sessions.
Housing We've provided a house for Fabiola and her family to help facilitate the proper physical development of her children.
Classical education We've provided school scholarships for all three of Fabiola's children.
Business Support Fabiola graduated from our business training program after which we provided her with technical and financial support in the startup of her business. Today, Fabiola is able to provide basic needs for her children.
Rickens' case is a perfect example of how ESPWA's transition from orphanage to child development and family strengthening center is not only helping to reunify families, but also to propel those families toward independence and self-sufficiency.