Oscar* has been quarantined at the children’s home since March, along with his two brothers, a few other children, and safe adults. With the help of their caregivers, the three boys have still been able to have fun and have stayed on track with their schooling, but they’ve missed visits from their volunteer mentors and the usual busy-ness of their day-to-day.
In the midst of new schedules and seeing less people than normal, Oscar had one thing to look forward to – his birthday. He made a special request for blue and white balloons and a chocolate tres leche cake. Oscar’s willingness to ask for what he wants is tangible evidence of felt-safety. He knows he is heard in the environment he calls home. He knows his needs are known and will be met, and that his desires are important to those around him.
Oscar’s birthday arrived, and he was celebrated in style with a balloon arch handmade by one of his caregivers, pizza to share with his brothers and caregivers, and the chocolate tres leche cake he requested. He spent his day with people he loves, and surrounded in celebration, but one more surprise was forthcoming.
Oscar’s mentor volunteer saw him regularly before the virus hit Mexico. Due to mandates, their time together had to pause, and both Oscar and his mentor were missing their time together. After checking with caregivers and the children’s home, his mentor volunteer visited Oscar on the day of his party with a large Spiderman balloon and some treats. They safely distanced and visited, and it completed his day of celebration.
Oscar ended his birthday with a belly full of delicious food, and gifts and balloons to remember the day. He also fell to sleep that night with the knowledge when he uses his voice, he is heard and his wishes honored. This is the power of advocacy, sponsorship, and safe adults in the lives of vulnerable children like Oscar. Thank you for staying in the fight with us to provide holistic care to orphaned and vulnerable children.