While Xela AID's focus is empowering self-reliance through our Education, Health, Small Business Development and Clean Water Programs, Emergency Relief Funds are also necessary to respond to tragic and unforseen circumstances that arise and which can be life-threatening. Historically, Xela AID Emergency Relief has taken the form of 1) Critical Human Services and Fostering
for abandoned or orphaned children,
2) Dignified Housing Projects
and 3) Relief During Natural Disasters
. This work is made possible by those who generously donate to our Emergency Relief Fund.
Critical Human Services and Fostering
Juana Perez was just 12 years old when she became an orphan. With no relatives who could help, she took to the streets to earn money for food for herself and her brother and two little sisters. Luckily, Xela AID was there to help before it was too late,
Because of the generosity of our supporters, Xela AID was able to foster Juana and her siblings into a family where they all receive three meals a day; are kept clean, healthy and in school - and most importantly, they are thriving!
Every child deserves the right to eat a nutritious meal each day, have clean water to drink, and should be able to see a doctor when they are sick and suffering. But in the poorest places in Guatemala, children and their families go without these necessities every single day. Juana and her siblings are just a few of the many children and families Xela AID has helped through our Emergency Relief Fund. The Fund is currently providing shelter to a family of eight - including four orphaned children.
Xela AID Dignified Housing Projects
Xela AID honors the work of Habitat for Humanity who's core mission is housing. Xela AID does, upon occasion, undertake housing projects which the following criteria are met with the intent of the associated outcomes. (At right before and after, project "Lucia's House," 2013)
Selected by Xela AID Leaders in Action Group with guidance from Director and review/confirmation by Board. Current living conditions must be among worst-case, dangerous and/or particularly inhumane. Persons must own land.
1. Will create humane living conditions for persons in extreme poverty
2. Will be a unifying volunteer project - Volunteers experience the joy, satisfaction, perspective, and personal transformation.
3. Will provide practical leadership experience for our Leaders group (liaisons to water council, construction workers, city government etc.)
4. Will inspire future educational sponsorships - Most WSS supporters begin as Trip volunteers
5. Will empower self reliance. Examples: Food production space, chicken coop, storefront or rental.
At right: Xela AID provided critical assistance to victims of flooding caused by Hurricane Stan
. See additional photos below, as well as accompanying photo gallery.
Relief During Natural Disaster
The hurricane that struck Guatemala in October, 2005 turned the countryside to mud. Landslides closed roads like the road to San Martín and nearby communities where Xela AID is currently focused. It is estimated that 10,000 in the San Martín area were affected.
During disasters, Xela AID's June Russel-Glennon Clinic serves as a base of disaster operations. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, during the October 2005, Xela AID was able to provide blankets, food stuffs, cooking implements and toiletries to those in the San Martín Chiquito community who lost their homes.
The organization stands ready to assist during future disasters, and through proper landscaping and the installation of drains has done its part of prevent flooding near the Clinic.