Breaking the Silence
Byron was always quiet and would not express a word. His parents thought he was shy and did not want to speak because of shame. However, as he grew older, they thought he was mute and would never talk. Byron’s dad works on a high-end farm and cares for expensive horses. Since he did not learn how to write or read, he does not receive a good salary, but as part of the compensation, Byron’s family lives on a makeshift horse house turned into a home. Byron and his little brother, Rafael, did not have access to clean water, friends to play with, and school assistance to help them with homework.
“When I saw Byron, I knew something was not right,” said Keren, Kids’ Club director of Project M:25’s after-school program. Byron’s mom heard about the opportunity of enrolling her children in a local program where they could go in the afternoons to play and get some food. That was enough to get her excited about it, and she visited the Project M:25 campus to find out about opportunities. After the first assessment, Byron and his brother Rafael were accepted into the program, but it was clear that they had no skills to interact with other kids and, moreover, could not even speak.
In August, Project M:25 and a team from California visited Byron’s home to install a water filter. Since their home was not initially planned to be used by humans, they do not have proper piping, so their water is brown. They get it from a community pool that several neighbors built years ago. They thought the water was good but had a different color, so they made juices to hide it. After installing the filter, they saw that their water came out crystal clear, and the kids had their first taste of clean water at home.
Clean water became the catalyst of Byron’s change as now he no longer gets sick. Twice a week, he goes to Project M:25’s play therapy room on campus to process his trauma and wounds from the past. Keren says that Byron “now tries to talk to others and says ‘mom’ and ‘dad,’ and you can see he is always looking after other children in his class.” The lack of access to clean water and a safe place to grow, took a hard hit on Byron but he’s healing from those adverse conditions.
Thanks to your sponsorship, Project M:25 brings light to Byron’s life. His family is a clear example of how combining clean water and the love of God for others fosters life transformation for families forever.