Desperately poorly children with disabilities and their families in Filandia, Colombia
Our current focus is to help a struggling center for children with disabilities in Filandia, Colombia. On this website there are many photos and success stories relating to this center ‘Abriendo Caminos Con Amor’ (‘Opening pathways with Love’).
Children with disabilities in this poor part of Colombia are brought to the center by their often desperate families seeking help. The staff, students and medical professionals are completely dedicated and often work with the same child for many years. Cases at the center range from children afflicted with cerebral palsy and Downs Syndrome or children who are the victims of violence (and who require intense psychological treatment) at one end of the scale to those who have minor speech impediments or flat feet at the other end.
The Mothers and families are generally so poor that even gathering the bus fare to attend every week is a major burden but their dedication in seeking help for their children with disabilities is deeply moving. They often continue with enormous energy and dedication in spite of the burdens and disadvantages of a child who requires constant attention.
They often face severe economic hardship. Even if able to place the child with a loved one they often find it difficult to find minimum wage work. Their families often break up and so they become destitute.
Uncertain prognoses and success
Often the prognosis given by doctors is uncertain. They continue bringing the child to treatment not knowing if he or she will ever walk, crawl or even speak. They persist with faith and believe that their prayers will be answered.
Feeding a family on the minimum wage in Colombia is difficult even if you are able to work. A child with disabilities presents unique and intense needs of care.
There are children who could not walk and now can and who could not talk and now can (Ref. Success Stories).
As well as as intense physical and psychological therapy, the center also provides therapy through workshops.
Here is a video of the music workshop.