The Solola Children’s home project is a unique foster home-school that supports both survivors of domestic violence as well as their children. Sister home to the original Hogar de Ninos Fatima in Guatemala City, the Solola Home-School project arose out of recognition that there are only a handful of homes in Guatemala properly equipped to provided supportive, temporary accommodation for children who cannot – usually for reasons of safety – live with their families. The homes that do exist are mostly in Guatemala City – meaning that children from rural, indigenous communities often have to travel long distances from remaining family in order to stay in these Homes, isolating them from their home cultures, languages and communities. It was also recognized that in order for children to return to a stable, safe home, wider support must simultaneously be provided to family members – particularly in cases where mothers are exposed to violence. This is the mission of the Solola Home-School Project – to provide support to children in need of temporary homes and (in cases of domestic violence) their mothers in ways that are sustainable, respectful and effective.
Embedded in the traditions and landscape of the Western Highlands the Home is being purposefully built INTO – not onto – land that holds great religious and cultural significance for the local Mayan community. Staffed by members of the local indigenous communities, children can remain connected to their ancestral language and culture. In additional to receiving a conventional education, children will be taught a range of traditional skills as well as modern conservation practices, equipping them for life after leaving the home. Currently, the home remains in the early stages of construction, with funding needed to complete building and move into the second phase of development. As development progresses, there are plans to add an organic farm-garden so that residents can learn both traditional farming and husbandry practices as well as gain exposure to modern practices such as water filtering and recycling. Longer-range plans including adding eco-cabins and creating a Skill Center where women and older children can learn marketable skills that will enable them to secure employment and meet their families ongoing needs. Follow our blog updates for more information – and thank you for your interest in the Solola Home-School project!