Today Christopher, coordinador of the New Dawn Residential Program, shares some of the ups and downs of developing a virtual program over the last months.
We are about to start our fifth month working virtually with the resdients of New Dawn and their families. There is no question that when our team began this process there were many doubts and umcertainties, but from the start we have seen God’s hand working in each one of the boys’ lives.
The situation we have been through has put our program and staff to the test, and we have faced challenges that we’ve never seen before. We went from being a residential program to working 100% virtually. We are anxiously awaiting the day when we can return to our buildling and meet again in person like the family that we are. In the meantime, we continue to provide our support to help the boys successfully complete their recovery processes.
A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit all of our residents in their homes and to check in on them with our team of therapists. After almost four months we were able to visit them and spend some time with them (following all health safety measures). It was such a good time and well worth the effort. We also delivered kits to each home to enrich the virtual workshop times.
When the boys returned home, their families and caretakers took on the full job of the boys’ schedule and recovery program within the home. The New Dawn Residential Program is now running in the individual homes of each resident. In our virtual program each week they have study times, exercise, vocational workshops, and meetings where we talk about Biblical truths. We also facilitate individual therapies, as well as group drug dependency therapies. We have worked to prepare the families and caretakers in the aspects of addictions and addictive substances to help them manage risky situations and avoid relapses.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls adn has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves; a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
This is a verse that the residents have made into a motto during this time to remind them to mutually encourage each other whenever they have the opportunity. It reminds them that they belong to the same team where their greatest desire is to get out of the world of addictions. Although there are bad days, our hope is the the sun in their lives will rise and shine again.
The New Dawn program staff has also played a fundamental role in this entire process with the residents and their families. We pray that all of the efforts we are putting in during this time and all the seeds that we are planting would bear fruit in the future.
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5
We are proud to belong to Mission To El Salvador and the New Dawn Residential Program and to be a part of restoring the lives of adolescents and their families from addiction. We are aslo proud to have the opportunity carrying out our organizational values of love, dignity, and respect.