Connecting Colombian Kids to Host Families
We just did something unprecedented in child welfare in Colombia! With ICBF (Colombia’s child welfare agency) and Casa De La Madre, Kidsave launched an innovative pilot program to help kids and families get to know each other virtually. Last week we hosted our first advocacy event via Zoom, with prospective families and Colombian children who hope to participate in our hosting program this December.
Three families, Danny and Suzy, Miciah and Tony, Tim and Giuli, were able to meet and interact face-to-face with sisters Victoria (12) and Sarah (16), sisters Stella (8) and Yvette (15), and with Lena (12).
The families and children built connections over a competitive game of trivia. They worked together and took their best guesses on questions like: Where did Shakira record most of her music? What do the 3 stripes on the Colombian Flag represent? Where was the game checkers invented? They also spent one-on-one time getting acquainted and learning more about each other.
Tim and Giuli learned that Lena, talkative and outgoing, knows how to make Tres Leches and prides herself on being an incredible helper. Lena also learned that Tim and Giuli love to play ping pong, have a dog, and are excited to get to know her better.
Danny and Suzy bonded with Victoria and Sarah over their love for pizza. The girls were thrilled to learn that Danny and Suzy have a pizzeria! The girls shared that they love every topping, except anchovies.
Stella and Yvette learned that their new hosts live less than a mile away from the one place they’d love to visit soon–the beach! They learned that Miciah and Tony like papaya and tacos and have an adorable new puppy. Hosts, Michiah and Tony, learned that Sophia loves pandas and wants to be a language teacher. Older sister, Yvette, takes care of her little sister and loves spaghetti and hamburgers. She’s still figuring out her career plans.
For our inaugural event, our partners in Colombia were there in full support. Lauren Reicher-Gordon, Kidsave’s VP and Director of Family Visit Programs offered words of thanks to the whole Colombian team, “We are just so fortunate to have extraordinary leadership who worked tirelessly to make this to happen today,” said Lauren. “We are just so lucky. Thank you so much!”
Andrea Leon, Subdirector of Adoptions at ICBF, was delighted to be in attendance. “We are a great team. It’s not just us. So thanks for being here and thanks for taking the time to spend with these amazing girls. It’s not easy but we put in a lot of effort to create this special moment,” she said as the event started. And when the event wrapped up, she was overwhelmed with emotion after seeing the families and kids interact. “I have tears in my eyes,” she said.
Kidsave will continue to host events to help Summer Miracles hosts and the Colombian children who will be participating in the program meet and connect before this December.
Are you interested in becoming a Summer Miracles host this December?