December 6, 2009
The International Volunteer Day celebration in Paraguay was held at the Home of Mercy in Fernando de la Mora, a small town on the edge of the capital. Fifteen children are currently living in the home, under the care of directors Blas Aguilera and his wife Margarita. The Home of Mercy is a social initiative of the Shiloh Christian Church.
Habitat for Humanity Paraguay, in partnership with the National Secretariat for Children and Adolescents, has been making improvements to the Home of Mercy for the last two weeks. Volunteers from the United States and Canada have been helping with the improvements, which are being made in the dining room, kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms.
The presence of these volunteers, the children of the home, the Aguilera family, officials and directors of Habitat for Humanity Paraguay and national volunteers made International Volunteer Day a very special one to share. At first, Habitat Paraguay organized with the children and volunteers to paint a mural with the message, “Make the world a home.” The Aguilera family offered the front wall of the home as a host for the mural.
Putting the finishing touches on the project, the artists gather to hear the story of the Home of Mercy family. Blas explains how it all began, when four years ago he and his wife took in a homeless girl who they had found living in the street. The family continued to grow as more and more children arrived, until they had to find a larger place to live. There are currently 15 children between the ages of three and 16 living with the Aguileras. Most of them have been abandoned by or are disconnected from their families. During his testimony Blas affirms, “We want to restore hope to these children who have lost their home.”
Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Paraguay.