In Collique, there are many single mothers who must balance the demands of raising children while trying to earn money to support their families. When fathers and step-fathers are present in the family, they are often abusive to their spouses and children.
With the belief that healthy families can be the building block for healthy communities, OSA has initiated several programs to improve family life. Recent OSA mission trips from the USA have included one or two bilingual family counselors. Group and individual therapy sessions have been successful in building self esteem and confidence among women in Collique.
Also an on-going class called “Forming Healthy Families” has been started by OSA. The class is attended by several young mothers and is designed to help them better understand what healthy, functioning families “look and feel like.” A team approach is used for instruction using resources from a Peruvian social worker and a school teacher from the USA. A series of thematic lessons based on the “Motherwise” curriculum covers many aspects of family life. Mutual respect within families, better communication, team work, and shared responsibility in families are some of the goals. Some fathers have participated in individual sessions with the social worker and spouses, and it is our hope that similar “healthy family” classes will be available to fathers in the future.
Some dysfunctional family situations require more direct intervention. In those cases, the OSA social worker Charo and/or educational psychologist Petry provide individual or family counseling aimed at resolving conflict and building a sense of shared responsibility within the family environment.