Philadelphia teens build 40 houses for Guatemalan families in need
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 18th, 2019: Sixteen teenage volunteers and sixteen adults from Philadelphia are in Guatemala this week to build their 40th house for families in need as part of Philly kids’ organization Teens Inc, in partnership with The GOD’S CHILD Project.
Teens Inc, which works with local Philadelphia teens and pre-teens to promote charitable activity and community, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a special humanitarian aid trip that unites the organization’s current members with those that built their first charitable Guatemalan home back in 2009. The 16 teenage volunteers will be accompanied by four chaperones and 12 Teens Inc alumni.
Philadelphia teens to the rescue
More than half of the people in Guatemala live below the poverty line. For families with young children, this often means having no choice but to sleep on wet dirt floors, resulting in otherwise preventable illnesses and medical problems.
Every year, volunteers from Teens Inc travel to build new homes for these families using materials donated by the organization’s volunteer network.
Each house takes 3 days to complete. On the last day of the build, the home is ‘gifted’ to the family during a ceremony at which mothers and builders alike are moved to tears.
Over 1,000 homes have been built through The GOD’S CHILD Project to date – and soon, more than 40 of these houses will have been built by volunteers from Teen’s Inc.
“The trip completely changed my perspective on the world. When the families welcomed me into their community, I was no longer an outsider, and when I returned to the US, I brought with me a new way of life. We donated soccer balls and played a game with the kids whose playground we fixed. The game, like the entire trip, was not just fun – it was life changing.” – Jonathan R., Teens Inc volunteer
A Teens Inc volunteer and three local kids in one of the newly constructed homes
Teens Inc began its signature international service trip to Antigua, Guatemala in 2009. Every summer since, the club’s members have spent 9–10 days in Guatemala immersing themselves in hands-on humanitarian aid projects and vacation adventures.
Teens and chaperones live with middle-class families, sharing meals, practicing Spanish, and interacting with locals. The trip involves traveling to Lake Atitlan, a very scenic area, and exposure to the Mayan-Latino culture. The kids spend the 5 months leading up to the trip researching Guatemala, team building, and fundraising.
“We built a house, but we really built a home, where a family can be a family. The experience was an unforgettable one as I was able to change someone’s world in ten days, on the lifelong mission to change the entire world.” – Sofia C, Teens Inc volunteer
Paulette helping a child at Casa Jackson Hospital for Malnourished Children
Teens Inc works in partnership with The GOD’S CHILD Project (GCP) to give vulnerable families an opportunity to become self-sufficient, educated, and healthy members of society.
As well as building homes and distributing donations to the community, here are just some of the ways in which Philadelphia teens are volunteering to help families in Guatemala during this year’s trip:
- Providing care at Casa Jackson Hospital for Malnourished Children, the only hospital in Central America dedicated completely to free inpatient care for severely malnourished children
- Helping at Santa Madre Homeless Shelter, a safe place to sleep for abused and abandoned children, battered women, and families fleeing natural disasters
- Handing out food to 1,000+ people in need at the weekly GCP Food Distribution, including war widows, abandoned mothers, and the elderly
- Helping at Dreamer Center School for impoverished children, who often have no access to running water, electricity, or school supplies
- Helping at the Scheel Center School, designed for older students who have missed out on education due to being in the child labor force
“I’m really excited to meet my homestay family. I think it’s amazing that these people have chosen to open their homes to us so we can experience daily life in another country and culture.”– Maren L., Teens Inc volunteer
Teens Inc alumni currently serving in Guatemala
How you can get involved
Teens Inc as an established community organization for Philadelphia-area kids. To find out more about the organization, volunteer, or donate, please visit www.teensincphilly.org.
The GOD’S CHILD Project hosts volunteers year round and can be reached through www.GodsChild.org.
Teens Inc and The GOD’S CHILD Project are 501c3 charities, and both accept donations via their websites.
“The more support that we get from community members, the more students we can reach, and the more lives we can change.” – Maisey Bradley and Kate Dwyer, Teens Inc leaders
About Teens Inc
Do good. Meet friends. Build community.
Teens Inc was established to provide positive activities for teens and pre-teens in Philadelphia, giving them guidance and promoting volunteerism in near and global neighborhoods through service outreach. It has created a safe space for kids to explore who they are and want to be within a community that embraces love, respect, and listening. Teens Inc welcomes all teens and pre-teens, ages 10–19.
To find out more about the organization and how you can get involved, visit www.teensincphilly.org.
About The GOD’S CHILD Project
The GOD’S CHILD Project (GCP) has been operating humanitarian aid and charity programs for over 28 years to give vulnerable and impoverished children and families an opportunity to become self-sufficient, educated, and healthy members of society. Teens Inc has been a part of this mission for 10 years.
Discover more about GCP, volunteering opportunities, and how to donate at https://godschild.org.
For more information about Teens Inc and The GOD’s CHILD Project, photos, and media opportunities, please contact: