Adults, whether mother, father, relative, teacher, friend or neighbor, relate daily with children and adolescents. So, it is good to ask ourselves, how do we approach them? Does the relationship that we establish help them to grow? The reality is, we assume different attitudes according to how we see children, and relate to them according to the expectations we have of them.
In the Children’s Center in Lima, Peru, just as in St. Bernadette’s Home and School, we assume that children and adolescents are before all else human beings, and as such have rights. We understand that these rights are accompanied with duties and responsibilities, but we believe that duties are learnt in the process of growth as we come to appreciate, through experience, the value of the exercise of our rights and those of others.
From this perspective, we propose to create physical and social spaces where these children and adolescents can experience the exercising of, and respect for their rights in daily living, in play, in friendship, in being helped with their homework and in the recreation they find in the different workshops that they are offered. From the Children’s Center, St. Bernadette’s Home and School, we want to contribute, along with their parents and teachers, to the growth of the children and adolescents in an integral and harmonious way, so that they feel valued, respected and welcomed. That is to say, that they live as people with rights, and therefore as citizens, who from their condition as children and adolescents, are able to participate in collective projects in the family, schools, groups of friends, local area and country, with which they can identify and contribute to make their rights a reality.
To achieve this goal, we have joined our attempts with other institutions both private and public. Through the years we have learnt the importance of social relations and creating networks to achieve common objectives that unite us. At present we coordinate with the National Identification Registrar, Emergency Centers, Child Protection and Social Development Agencies, Free Legal Aid, Health Centers, and Alimentation Programs among others.
Through our work in our own Centers, along with networking with these institutions, we want to contribute so that the children and adolescents experience their right to be protected in an integral way, and when one of their rights have been undermined, that they can receive the attention they deserve and feel that their condition of being subjects with rights is inherent in all aspects of life.
TOGETHER WE CAN BRIGHTEN IT WITH THE LIGHT OF CHRIST.