A Restored Smile
Carlitos is a 9-year-old boy who, before joining the after-school programs of Project M:25, spent much time alone, and kept his problems to himself. He used to spend each afternoon playing soccer at the field near our ministry center, while watching as other kids entered our campus.
Carlitos’ family life is not easy. His father, a factory worker, is rarely home and often contributes to a tense home life. His mother, a very shy but cheerful housewife, spends her day doing household chores. She never completed elementary school, so when it comes to assisting her children with homework, she is unable to help. When Carlitos started attending our program, he was struggling in school.
He was also struggling socially. Sophie, our Program Director, says that at first, “He would only play soccer and was not interested in participating. Because of his problems communicating with other kids, he was extremely shy and quiet.”
Our staff is trained in trauma informed educational practices, which allowed them to break through Carlito’s barriers and begin helping him overcome his struggles. Today, Carlitos joyfully plays with friends before going to Chapel for devotion. He believes that Jesus loves him and is his best friend. In the classroom, he helps the teacher and he receives much-needed assistance with his own homework. His smile is vibrant and genuine once again.
Last year, Carlitos invited his mom to participate in Precious Jewels, our Women’s Ministry. She immediately felt at home, because she felt loved and supported by the other women. Now, she is learning a skill to start her own business and help her family.
Project M:25 believes in a holistic approach of partnering with children and their families, empowering them with the tools needed to rely on God for overcoming the traumatic effects of poverty. With the love of God, they discover hope and dreams for a better future as they develop their God-given potential.