Casa Tejiendo Sueños de Esperanza is a program of the Social Pastoral of the Diocese of Armenia, and met StreetSmart in August 2022 during a visit from StreetSmart Wheels coordinator, Junieth Machado. From then on, the team fell in love with the mobile school and the organisation’s educational tools. A few months later, they applied to become partners and receive a school to work with children and adolescents living in the slums, where they also have a presence through the provision of play activities, coffee, and bread for the families.
During the on-site visit, the need for street interventions in those areas marked by drugs, corruption, and violence was evident. There, a new generation is growing up which deserves to have access to new opportunities that will allow them to transform their lives, as mentioned by Mariana Cardenas, Director of the Program. According to a study they conducted, almost 80 families are living in the smoke cave, one of the ollas of Armenia, since a single house built of cardboard, plastic, and bamboo scraps can house up to 3 families.
For the programme to be sustainable and to provide support to these families, children, and adolescents, the team of street educators from the Casa Tejiendo Sueños de Esperanza, worked to refurbish an abandoned house, converting it into a welcoming space for the more than 40 children and adolescents who come from the slums to take part in personal growth workshops, music, painting and theater classes, as well as to enjoy reading and entertainment spaces.
StreetSmart evaluated this organisation through an online exchange of four workshops, where experiences, methodologies, approaches, and visions in street work were shared. All of which showed that without a doubt, Casa Tejiendo Sueños de Esperanza would be a great partner for StreetSmart.
The team of the Casa Tejiendo Sueños showed a high level of commitment during the workshops, and wishes to implement StreetSmart strategies and methodologies to achieve the development of skills in more children and adolescents from the slums. In the words of Marcial, one of the program’s street educators, "instead of treating people as victims, what the team of street educators of the House seeks to do is to enhance the values that can be found in people. We must look for that potential which the families of the sector, adults, children, and adolescents have, it is important to be there and support them".
Now, both organisations are preparing for the next steps in implementing a future mobile school in the first quarter of 2023. Stay up-to-date through our social media and website.