Ancla de Amor
- TBRI (Trust based Relational Intervention) training for the Ancla staff has a made a great impact on the kids. It has equipped staff to work with children that come from difficult situations.
- Swimming continues to not only help the children physically but includes therapeutic benefits, improving their mental and emotional well being as well. This summer they made their swim team the “Hurricanes” public; 12 from Ancla, 12 from Guaymus and 12 Adults in their master program; which has helped raise awareness for Ancla.
- Gone Solar! After having $1800 in monthly electrical bills, something had to be done to lower these operational costs. A number of Winkler businessmen saw their vision and helped make solar a reality!
Ancla is in need of dorm parents. Brian and Clarissa have moved their family back on site for the summer to fill the gaps. They have some promising prospects but continue to pray for wisdom and the right people to fill each position.
Government upgrades. Since Ancla is a public orphanage of the state, it needs to comply to certain standards. In this case, that means upgrading their kitchen facilities. The thatch roof needs to be concrete and appliances must be industrial gas, (they currently use propane). This is a $15, 000 endeavour and needs to be completed by a certain deadline or children under 6 will be removed from the premises.
Stackable washer/dryers are also needed. They service the needs of 21 people at Ancla and their current washer has served it’s time and is tired!
Highlight from Their September Newsletter
“Hey Aunty Clarissa, which Ancla shirts should I pack for the weekend?”
We have come to realize we as a Ministry are guilty at times for labeling our children and they can feel it. We often fail to put ourselves in their shoes and consider what their life is like. As we learn and as we grow we are making changes that prioritize their personal growth. We are trying to take away as many of the “identifiers” that remind our children that they are orphans, or that they are abandoned, or that they are a victims or even that they live at a children’s home.
Clarissa responded to the question perfectly. “You are going to competition as a Huranane!!! Pack your Huracane gear!”
All they want is to be ‘normal’
Everywhere our kids go they are labeled and reminded of where they come from. We drive a big bus, not normal in most family settings. People see us all unload and know something is different about us. We ask them to wear an Ancla shirts in public so that our name is publicized, and what about that picture that will be sent to Canada? Ancla shirt please. Without realizing it, we constantly remind them that they are not normal. Recently I asked our older children how they feel when the university throws parties for them? The responses shocked me. They hate the parties but know its part of living here. Organization shows up here and want to have a big party for them and bring lots of candy and gifts. Once again, great intentioned people with good hearts but our kids know that these people are not going around to normal families and homes to celebrate. They come here out of pity and the kids know it. All they want is to be “normal.”
So often we are well intentioned but cause more damage than we realize. Our hearts mean well, we just don’t understand how deep their hurt is. God has been revealing more and more to us as staff and prioritizing what is best for each child has to be prioritized over what might be best for us as an organization. We already chose not to put big logos on the vehicles, but maybe the Ancla shirts need to go? Our children did not choose to be a victim of abuse, they did not choose to be abandoned, nor did they choose to be orphaned and to live here. So we are trying to be considerate, we want them to feel as normal as we can and we want them to have a voice.
This weekend we competed and we competed well. We didn’t win, but we competed and we had fun. Our kids have worked hard training and they want to win! Competitions are intense! Training is intense and so is the competition.
Our kids are coming together under the leadership of Pablo and they are learning about teamwork. They are learning how to loose but learning how to keep fighting. They are learning that quitting is never an option. They are learning that hard word, dedication and commitment is important in order to reach their dreams. In reality, they are learning far more than they realize! They are learning confidence big time! 2 years ago our kids were crying, they were scared and they were overwhelmed at competition. Now they swim with confidence and maturity! Most importantly, in my eyes, they are learning that they are normal! They can swim and compete with the normal kids. They can get an education like normal kids. They can have friendships with normal kids. They can also chase their dreams and have hope in a secure future like normal kids!
Clarissa and I stand back and watch the program function. The program is growing and has opened it up to the public. We cannot be more proud of the team. I believe that this program is the main reason we have seen such an improvement in the well being of our children. The investment is large, but the results are even greater! All our children that are a part of this program have grade averages in the 9’s! I believe that swimming is to blame. 🙂 Their brain is constantly being pushed, it is constantly working therefore I believe it is helping them process the information they are learning in school.
Recently Ancla was forced to remove the younger children from the Huracanes program due to a lack of sponsors. If you would like to learn more about this program and how you can help visit: www.ancladeamor.com/huracanes