The giant red ribbon was stretched taut across the doorway. Three young women gathered with faithful staff and their peers at a partnering children’s home in Mexico. There was a buzz of excitement in the air as three 17-year old girls waited for the exciting reveal of their new living space.
Recently, Back2Back staff recognized the three oldest girls in the home and their need for updated living spaces and more privacy. “Most of the children study all together under the palapa in the evenings,” shared Kristen Hallahan, Back2Back staff. “The bathrooms are also a large, shared area, and we realized collectively the three oldest girls in the home might want a space all their own.”
Staff worked together to transform a closet into a four bunk bed room for the girls. The set up is very similar to a dorm, allows for more privacy, and also offers the girls their own bathroom. A special piece of this preparation is that the girls were able to be part of the planning process and use their voices to choose colors and decorative pieces for their new living areas.
“It was such a fun experience to watch the girls have say in their environments,” shared Kristen. “They will each be at the home longer than some for different reasons, and we wanted to offer them independence and take the opportunity to remind each of them they are special and loved.”
The girls cut through the ribbon quickly and entered their new living quarters with huge smiles across their faces. This is the power of advocacy and sponsorship – a need is seen, children are given space to use their voices, and everyone involved is reminded just how known and loved they are.