Both Ends Believing is officially underway with implementation in Guatemala. In the midst of starting our partnership with La Asociacion Ninez con Futuro (ANIFU), the Guatemala NGO of Orphan Outreach, and el Consejo Nacional de Adopciones (CNA), we wanted to share facts about the current state of child welfare in the country and our vision for changing it.
“We have long been aware of the need for timely, useful comprehensive data on Guatemala’s children, but only when we encountered BEB’s Children First Software did we truly see a viable solution to meet this need.”- stated Austin South, Latin America Regional Director for Orphan Outreach.
As the world continues to face the pandemic, BEB realizes that the impact on the most vulnerable populations is especially severe. Children living in overcrowded institutions in under-resourced countries are these most vulnerable. The global health crisis gives even more urgency to this work and to the desire to very soon see these children enjoy the benefits that families provide.
According to the UNICEF’s Realization of Children’s Rights Index, Guatemala stands at the red level, which represents “difficult situation." The numbers are hard to believe; more than half of the Guatemalan children are victims of malnutrition. These children face major health problems like stunted growth and weakened immune systems. They also undergo a tremendous level of violence, danger, and insecurity. Children have little protection or support available on the streets or in institutional care and are left without any security. United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child has helped make some improvements, but a significant amount of children in the child welfare system still need help.
1 child in 38 dies before their 5th birthday, 4 times the U.S. rate.
47% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
Guatemala is one of the world’s hardest places to be a child. Both Ends Believing is now working to turn the situation around. Together we are working hard to implement Children First Software throughout the country, moving toward a bright future for the vulnerable children desperately in need.
President Mark Schwartz stated his optimism on this new country partnership by saying, “What we have witnessed all over the world is a lack of accessible, digital data on vulnerable children. This challenge constrains the ability of governments to make timely, well-informed decisions about their children’s futures. Guatemala has recognized this need and BEB is honored to be able to provide, implement and support Children First Software at no cost, as is the case everywhere we work. We are grateful to CNA, ANIFU and Orphan Outreach for the opportunity to work together on behalf of the vulnerable children of Guatemala.”
The work in Guatemala will follow the CFS implementation blueprint now well established in the Dominican Republic and Honduras. Our vision is to have comprehensive digital records created for the approximately 5,000 children living in Guatemala institutions today. Capturing and utilizing this data will serve as a springboard to moving these children from institutional care to safe, nurturing families.