We had been in Guatemala for two days when we spotted 2-year-old Jeryln sitting on a swing and staring off into space. She was completely non-responsive to voices or human touch. Perplexed we picked her up and went in search of the director to ask about her history. They told us she and her sister had arrived very malnourished and she was seeing a speech therapist.
Absentmindedly rubbing her back as we spoke, we noticed she began to swing her legs. Clearly there was something more going on, likely a form of social detachment disorder or a history of physical or sexual abuse. We immediately offered funding to get her to a neurologist for assessment and then into therapy.
Children like Jeryln often come to homes at very young ages, victims of abuse, neglect, malnourishment, or trauma. Any one of these can lead to complex problems in learning and development.
Helping children with these conditions early is critical as 90% of brain development occurs before age 5. With early intervention we can change their lives forever. That’s why we’ve developed a program for children starting in Guatemala. It will involve a combination of staff and volunteers to assess orphans in Guatemala’s 300 orphanages, utilizing a system of trusted professionals and making sure homes follow through with recommended therapies and medications.
This Project is not fully funded. Current Need: $50,000.