As a change, this week we thought it would be interesting to introduce you to one of the key staff members at Alalay in Santa Cruz: house mother Maria. The houseparents do a truly fantastic job being the people working with the children “on the ground”: caring for them day-to-day, giving them a listening ear, making sure the children do their homework and housework, and showing each child just how much they are loved. Pretty much the same as any parent!
Maria is one of the oldest houseparents in Alalay but is extremely dedicated to her job. She works at the boys’ welcome house, where she looks after 23 boys (both those straight off the streets, and the oldest boys who are preparing to become independent). Maria also has eight grown up children of her own. She began working at Alalay in 2007, initially working in the kitchen of the welcome house where she enjoyed preparing delicious food for the children and also got to know many of the personalities. Since this time, she has worked her way up and since early 2012 has been in the role of house mother, where she is a caring and positive role model to the kids, with just the right mix of authority!
In Maria’s own words: “I am really happy in this job – I love working with the boys in the welcome house and being a part of such a great project”.
At Friends of Alalay we have decided to support Maria and three other houseparents to carry on doing this great work with the children, and will be funding their salaries over the next year. Do keep checking the website as we hope to add more stories of Alalay staff and children over the next few weeks…