The Niños con Ilusión y Esperanza de Vivir and Casa Hogar Santa Inés Children’s shelters were selected to be supported by Aspen’s team in Mexico.

Niños con Ilusión y Esperanza de Vivir provides a home and protection to 45 children aged from 3 to 16. Some are from broken families, while others are homeless or live in dire poverty. The shelter focuses on the children’s spiritual, physical and mental growth and stability in order to prepare them to function in the future as effective citizens and to establish solid values and balance for the families which they will hopefully some day be a part of.

Santa Inés is a home for 32 girls aged between 3 and 15 years. These girls have grown up in abject poverty, in homeless conditions or as street children. The home is managed by a congregation of Franciscan nuns who provide for the girl’s basic housing and nutritional needs. They also ensure that the children receive proper medical and psychological care to ensure that the building blocks are in place for a brighter future.

At the end of July Aspen hosted its first annual family team building event in Mexico, aptly named “Aspen y la Familia”. All guests where invited to make a contribution towards Mandela Day by bringing along donations to support the two beneficiary homes.

Aspen’s employees and their families provided overwhelming support for both shelters and the donations far exceeded expectations. More than 1200 food items, 500 personal hygiene products, 1200 stationery items and 60 general cleaning material products were received. The beneficiary organisations accepted these with much gratitude.

At the beginning of August, 30 employees and their family members hosted surprise events for the children at both homes. Some volunteers engaged in a range of games and fun activities with the kids, while others attended to the infrastructural needs of the Niños con Ilusión y Esperanza de Vivir such as thoroughly cleaning the facility, conducting general maintenance and safety enhancements as well as hygiene improvements in the bathrooms and showers.

The greatest delight for the children however, was the love and attention that was shown to them for the day – something which we take for granted, but which is sadly lacking in their lives.