12 Year-Old Mothers
Everyday in Buenos Aires, babies are born to girls as young as twelve-years-old. Many births are the result of rape. Some girls choose to become pregnant as a way to deter the rapists.
Ciudad Oculta – The Hidden City of Buenos Aires
In 1978 the Argentine government built a wall around the city’s worst slum to hide it from the press visiting for soccer’s World Cup. Life within the wall got far worse as criminal gangs took control. Soon even police and fire fighters refused to enter. This walled-in neighborhood became Ciudad Oculta, the Hidden City. It is now one of the world’s worst slums.
A Dream Comes To Life
A group of volunteers is breaking this cycle of poverty and teen birth. They founded a free daycare/early education center called Sueñitos, Little Dreams.
With teachers from the City Department of Education, Sueñitos opened in 2008. The center provides thirty-five children with dedicated teachers, a mid-day meal, a safe, loving environment for growth, and – most important of all – a window to another world beyond the wall.
Today at Sueñitos
Since 2008, our 3-year olds have graduated to pre-school. And we have learned that our clients are not only the 3-month to 3-year old kids, but also their teen-aged parents.
Many of the parents are attending a public adult school housed in our building offering free primary and secondary classes. It is the best attended in Buenos Aires. And doctors and dentists are providing free primary care to the community.
The Next Step
With your help, we can take the next step of building a self-sufficient community center/daycare in Argentina.