Photos: This is how the renovated residence for disabled children in Coquimbo turned out


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“With effort, with courage, with conviction, with clarity, with compassion and love, we managed to maintain this dream and today it is concretized in this,” said Gloria Mieres, executive director of the Foundation for the Children of Coquimbo, who together with her staff have seen this remarkable process of changes to the new infrastructure of the “Ayelén” residence, a protection center that shelters children and adolescents with severe and profound disabilities and whose rights have been violated.

The residence, which was opened this Friday with the presence of the Minister of Social Development and the Family, Giorgio Jackson, who also emphasized the government’s commitment to care for children and adolescents, “the aim and the challenge is to raise awareness among the whole population, to generate structural conditions so that families can also have the tools to take responsibility for the various differences and difficulties they may face when raising and caring for children and adolescents.”

The residence, located in the La Pampilla sector of Coquimbo, has been in a complex since 1979. Over the years, it has mutated until it has become a center for the protection of children, adolescents and even adults with disabilities. seriously violated their rights and, in many cases, in a situation of abandonment, becoming a unique housing model at the national level. Because it did not meet the minimum conditions for its functioning, due to deterioration and lack of adequate intervention spaces, it was prioritized by the regional government for its replacement for more than 2.929 million dollars.

According to District Governor Crist Naranjo, “we have a very big commitment to our children and adolescents, we believe that we still need to move forward and close the gaps that we have with them, I believe that today we are making a joint effort, very important to we can specify this type of works. They are very happy to have this space, we also have some programs that we are strengthening with the Ayelén residence, this is a commitment as a regional government that we will continue to maintain over time.”

After years of changes in its administration, the Ayelén residence is currently under the management of the Foundation for the Children of Coquimbo and for its activities receives grants from the Better Childhood Service.

Gabriela Muñoz, National Director of the Specialized Child and Adolescent Protection Service, Better Children, said that “as a service we are very happy to open this residence which improves the living conditions of 20 children and adolescents with disabilities. We deeply appreciate the investment made by the regional government, as it allows us to generate a program with high quality standards”.

“Ayelén”, which means “joy” in Mapudungún, is conceived with a comprehensive design, with new criteria for space and equipment, to better serve the boys, girls, adolescents and young people currently living, as well as those who which could arrive derivatives of the family courts. With a focus on health but also on inclusion so that they can progress in autonomy and exercise their rights.

Built in the municipality of Coquimbo, Mayor Ali Manuchehri highlighted this work, “this infrastructure is wonderful, but within it we have the duty to take care of our boys and girls, accompanying the professionals who exist and who are behind bringing it to life. this space.”

As the technical unit in charge of this project, the Minister of Public Works, Juan Carlos García, wanted to attend this emotional ceremony, “we have a work that not only meets the needs, but is a work that is designed, built and without doubt will be met with attention”.

The initiative to replace the residence was presented by the National Service for Minors (Sename) in 2014. At the end of 2018, it was given the green light after being prioritized by the District Council.

“As a District Council and District Administration, we have always been committed to the overall well-being of the children and youth who attend here. Recognition of the professional teams and people who welcome these children and young people who so much need this support”, assured regional councilor Lombardo Toledo, president of the Commission for Social Development and Investments.

The total investment of “Ayelén” included the improvement of the group and individual sleeping quarters, the hygiene services, the dining room and the offices for the educators responsible for the attention, in an area of ​​more than 10 thousand square meters. The exterior, meanwhile, has a front garden, plaza and walkway, in addition to spaces that are not being used and that the Children’s Foundation was able to restore.

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