Today is the 107th annual Interational Women's Day. March is Women's History Month, April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, and May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. In spreading awareness on all 4 highlights, we offer the blogs of two survivors of abuse and neglect, immigrant girls, who speak from life experience. They are speaking as empowerd young women in the spirit of educating others. We asked the following questions of 2 teen girls experiencing foster care in Massachusetts via illegal immigration.
Meet Salma age 19 via Guatemala, and Isabella age 16 via Brazil.
How did going through foster care affect your life?
Based on your experience, do you think foster care should change?
Before I was placed in fostercare, my life was horrible all the time. I was sad and constantly crying. I though that I did not have a future, but now I am happy and I know I have a future.
Foster care should not be changed because all of the services help many chilren who need someone who can protect them and love them.
I would say to a girl facing foster care to be happy, and I would wish her good luck. Foster care is not that bad, it provides someone who is going to love you and take care of you.
A 30 day mental health program influenced me when my father was put in jail, and my social worker told me that I was going to foster care.
My best memory of foster care is when I had my first Christmas feeling happy, where no one could hurt me. My worst memory is before foster care when I was abused by my father as a teen, and from another man as a little girl.
It is important that a foster home only has a woman, and no man to keep girls who have been abused by a man safe. It is important for there to be girls who can feel each other's pain, who experienced the same abuse so they can relate to one another. I like to get to know the other girls and listen to their story, and give her support so that she knows she is not alone. She is not the only one who suffered.
A foster home affects my life because now I'm not with my family anymore. I would rather live with my family than be somewhere without them.
My foster home is pretty good the way it is, but I believe that foster care should give kids more freedom so they're comfortable where they are.
I would like to tell other foster kids to keep your head up, and be strong because sometimes it can be rough, but remain positive.
My influences in foster care are my brother and my sister for the most part. They're always there for me to give me advice, and keep me going.
My best memory in foster care was getting a job, and going to my ged program. My worst memory of foster care is being away from my family and friends.
An issue for foster care is that no child should be taken away from any family unless it is a choice of the child. I think children should have more say in where they want to be for the rest of their lives, instead of being placed somewhere against their will. I believe children in fostercare should have more freedom and more say in things that will be done and stuff.
Matthew 25:35 New International Version (NIV)
35" For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,"
Our volunteers worked very hard to get groceries to seniors, and families before the next big storm. We have built a strong cross cultural family of volunteers to take the lead in eradicating hunger in our communities. Here are a few thoughts from the family of volunteers:
This Certificate of Appreciation from Twelfth Baptist Church is shared with my 100 volunteers in my Food Rescue Program. You make the difference! We feed over 2000 families monthly, without any tax dollars, and we are 100% volunteer driven!
The 14th annual Giving Tree celebration was a huge success, thanks to our volunteers and sponsors. 500 children recieved Christmas gifts in Boston's South End, Medford, and Somerville over the course of a 2 day, power packed Christmas marathon weekend.
Children sang Christmas carols, took pictures with Santa, listened to story telling, and played Christmas trivia to win prizes. As much as we gave, one volunteer put it best "The smiles on the childrens faces was the greatest reward."
FREE CHRISTMAS TOYS AND CLOTHES FOR THE FIRST 500 KIDS Ages 0-10 TO SHOW.
WHEN:Saturday, December 20th 2014 11am til 2pm
WHERE:South End Library in Boston 685 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118
CHILD MUST BE PRESENT WITH PARENT TO GET GIFTS. NO KID, NO PRESENT.