Family Well Being Center

As a result of our proven success at the education centers in La Carpio, in 2016 we decided to branch out to other areas of the country. The name of all our centers  is “Centro de Bienestar Familiar” or Family Well Being Center (FWBC).

Fatima work with youth in the Montessori in the main center.

We have found that, through providing quality education and care programs for young children, we can strengthen the bond between the child and the mother, thus improving family interactions. As the mother and child grow in harmony, the father is often more encouraged to participate in the family circle and thus, we create a more balanced situation in the home. Well being becomes a part of all members of the family.

La Carpio

Our three main FWBC are located in La Carpio, Montessori, La Libertad and Centro Modelo. These are multifunctional spaces where we provide youth with healthy and stimulating activities such as arts, crafts, tutoring, english and math. They also serve as centers for volunteers to visit and develop activities such as health clinics and trainings. These centers also host women support groups and other community focused activities.

Our first center in La Carpio built in 2002. It originally served as a clinic for 10 years.

Indigenous

We have recently begun a campaign in indigenous territory “My Book is My Friend,” where we plan on building a number of libraries where books for, by and about indigenous will be the focus. The loss of cultural heritage among indigenous is a significant issue globally. These will also be used as FWBC. We have built two between 2022-2024 and hope to build a total of six by 2028.

Uvita

Our other new center is located at the beach town of Uvita on the west coast. We have assumed the responsibility for the Forjando Alas program started several years ago in order to educate children who live in the beach community to share their love of nature with visitors and, at the same time, to protect these children from falling prey to the drugs, trafficking and prostitution that tends to be prevalent in these areas.

The Family Well Being Center Forjando Alas attended about 30 children with activities to strengthen their self esteem, academic skills and realization of their special ability to resonate with nature until 2019.

Thanks to the assistance of the Overland groups, we were able to complete the construction of a new classroom site. We continue to find ways to work with youth in Uvita.

Rio Claro

Fatima, one of our most experienced Carpio teachers, moved with her family to Rio Claro, a community right on the Panama border.  Since she has been working for so many years in Carpio, she was able to make a positive impact on the children and families in this new community and has created the Family Well Being Center of Hope Rio Claro. With the support of the Lifeworks groups, she created a space, made furniture and carried on with classes for the children until 2019. She has now returned to work in La Carpio. We are so proud of what she has accomplished.

Venecia

The fifth program was located on the northern border of Costa Rica where there is a constant flux of refugees from Nicaragua who cross the border in a desperate attempt to find basic sustenance for their families. Nela, who once lived on the streets of San Jose, was in charge of this program. Along with her daughter Keyla,  they provided activities for these very vulnerable children including basic academics, eco camp program and snacks. We have learned a great deal about the reality of the situation in Nicaragua from this program.

In 2019, Nela moved back to San Jose to works with youth in La Carpio and currently work in the Cen-Cinai in Birri de Heredia.

Curriculums

The Montessori model has become one of the focuses we use in developing programs for youth and parents in the FWBC. We also use the Poverty Reduction Model of Development (PREMDEV) in the centers to collaborate with individuals, families and communities  in identifying and acquiring the resources needed to improve livelihoods.

Our programs are unified through the use of two curriculums we have designed. The first was developed over the years by Fatima and her family and covers topics of importance for children in vulnerable circumstances with topics as varied as “What to do if your brother gets hurt in a gang situation” to “How to care for animals”. We have materials to help children face the challenges and joys they have every day.

The second curriculum changes over time, it is currently “My Book Is My Friend.” We are encouraging the importance of literature in many aspects. This also includes the building of the 6 libraries.

The last curriculum was called “Walk a Mile…in My Shoes” and  brought awareness to all of our children and teachers about the realities of being a refugee and living in poverty. We challenged all the participants in this series of activities to analyze their own lives and to dream of being more than they have been in the past. This program culminated in an exhibit in the Children’s Museum where all the works of art, theater, dance and research of the children and teachers were shown. The opening night of the exhibit provided a chance for many different people to express in public what they have gone through or what they hope for in the future.

Volunteers

For all of these programs to have success, we have elicited the assistance of many volunteers both from Costa Rica and outside. We are proud and happy to have put together these projects and look forward to sharing all of this with our very valued volunteers and their leaders.

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