Dulce Refugio (Sweet Refuge)
Helping children affected by HIV/AIDS in Paraguay.
Dulce Refugio (Sweet Refuge) began in 2009 after seeing the great need to assist children affected by HIV/AIDS. We strive to provide an environment where they can find physical, emotional, and spiritual support and find joy and hope during their childhood in spite of the adversities they face.
Upstairs at Alto Refugio we have a children’s room for educational and fun activities—a place where they can enjoy being children. We also offer counseling and social assistance, helping the families with a holistic approach and providing clothes, medicine, dental care, powdered milk, and school supplies.
We see an imminent need to help these children who face so many challenges such as extreme poverty, desertion, rejection, fear of the death of loved ones, sickness, discrimination, and much more. Our goal is not only to give families immediate help by providing supplies and giving the children attention—we also seek to provide essential tools to give them the opportunity to face the future with more security.
Dulce Refugio has more than 1,600 children registered. We know there is much work ahead, since the government office of Protection of Children at Risk is overloaded, especially with those who are affected by HIV/AIDS. We invite you to be a part of this vision and sow into fertile soil as we plant seeds of hope and offer opportunities to our children. They are the future of our country, and their lives can be touched by our helping hands.
We dream of a place where children affected by HIV/AIDS receive physical, emotional, and spiritual support so they can experience joy in their childhood and, with the necessary skills, live a full life in spite of the challenges they face.
Dulce Refugio is a ministry committed to empowering children affected by HIV/AIDS, providing the basic tools necessary for their personal development, building up hope in the face of their reality, and thus equipping them to impact society in a positive way.
What We Do:
Since our focus is on assisting children affected by HIV/AIDS, our aim is to find ways in which we can contribute towards their development in every area and help them to integrate into society in a healthy way. These are the areas in which we support them:
We provide one box of powdered milk once a month for babies that are between 6 – 12 months. Newborn babies receive one box of powdered milk in their newborn kit which we give to the mother before she has the baby. During the first 6 months, the National AIDS program provides powdered milk for the mothers. Then, once they are 6 months old, we provide them with one box a month until they reach 12 months.
We also provide diapers, clothes, shoes, jackets, and other articles that we have available according to the needs of each child. We give clothes, school supplies, shoes, hygiene kits, and birthday gifts (that we have received as donations) to children ages 1 – 15.
2) Health and nutrition
Breakfast, lunch, and a snack for the children that come to Alto Refugio.
Kits for expecting mothers and kits for newborn babies.
Medication: multivitamins, antibiotics, decongestants, parasite treatments, cold medicine, and others. We give these medications only if the patient has a doctor’s order. We inform the parents about their children’s health and how best to care for them in their situations. Our priority is to provide necessary medication specifically for children infected with HIV/AIDS, although we realize that a sick family member can also be a major health hazard for a child infected with HIV/AIDS.
3) Spiritual guidance
We believe that each child is precious in His sight, and that Jesus is the only one who can bring hope into a very dark world. Many of our children live in situations of abuse, fear, neglect, or violence. At Dulce Refugio we strive to provide a place where they can learn what unconditional love is, experience healthy discipline, and above all, have an encounter with a loving Father and find their true identity in Him.
4) Psychological attention
We provide both personal and family counseling, helping families to face their reality, which includes HIV/AIDS, and to find hope in spite of their circumstances.