In Collique, there are many single mothers who must balance the demands of raising children while trying to earn enough money to support their families. When fathers and step-fathers are present in the family, they are often abusive to their spouses and children. In cooperation with governmental agencies and community leaders, OSA’s “Talita Cumi” program promotes awareness and prevention of domestic violence. Several women in this OSA program have become community advocates spreading their knowledge about gender and sexual violence to nearby neighborhoods.
With the belief that healthy families can be the building block for healthy communities, OSA has initiated several programs to improve family life. Mutual respect within families, better communication, team work, and shared responsibility in families are some of the goals. Various classes, attended by several young mothers, are designed to help them better understand what healthy, functioning families “look and feel like.” Classes are also available for learning income producing skills such as baking, sewing, and jewelry making. Other classes teach women basic computer skills.
Each year, OSA plans two or three family outings to nearby recreational areas. These outings provide a time and place for family bonding. Games and recreation promote teamwork and a sense of community.
Some dysfunctional family situations require more direct intervention. In those cases, the OSA social worker and psychologist provide individual or family counseling aimed at resolving conflict and building a sense of shared responsibility within the family environment.