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Jody and Vicki Dalia have a heart for children. In fact, they have 10 birth and 8 adopted children in addition to 18 grandkids and counting. The Dalia’s opened Casa de Sion, in Guatemala to continue their efforts to help less fortunate children. Since being there, they have succeeded in implementing an orphanage-at-home program that includes education, medical care, shoes and clothing for over 500 children and 100 mothers. While the Dalia’s heavily fund the programs themselves, they also rely on the goodwill of others to support and maintain their efforts including formula, monetary donations, and skilled visitors who are willing to travel and donate their time.
Says Vicki, “We began our work in Guatemala City in 2003 as an orphanage. Casa de Sion was not an adoption factory like many other operations. Instead, we took in the abused and neglected children from their court system. Seeing a vital need in the Guatemalan Highlands, we eventually moved our orphanage near Lake Atitlan where the poverty was so much more pressing.”
It was startling for us to see that most of the children in these rural pueblos needed to be in orphanages. They needed parental attention, a better diet, help succeeding in school, and medical and dental care. The endemic poverty was crushing their future. It became obvious that for the same amount of money it was taking to run a small orphanage we could help hundreds of children that lived at home. Eventually, these thoughts crystallized into the “orphans at home” program that is now lifting a community of children at a time through our feeding and educational programs.”
“Our mission is to enhance the lives of Guatemala’s least fortunate children by nourishing their bodies as well as their minds with nutritional, education and medical initiatives. We also provide emergency relief to surrounding communities suffering from natural and man-made disasters.”
“Our vision is to move from community to community, as we gather support, in the pitifully poor Highlands of Central America administering our programs. While creating a minimal amount of dependency, we want to help this next generation become healthier, wiser and more self-reliant. We want them to become better able to care for themselves and their children.”
Amazingly, each family member participates in running the orphanage-at-home program and many travel from their homes in the Appalachian Mountains and elsewhere to live and work in Guatemala four to six months out of the year. The Dalia’s epitomize the meaning of the word ‘charity’ in both the literal and spiritual sense, operating out of love and committment to their cause. It is important to note that they don’t take in any overhead and 100% of all donations go towards their programs.
To read more about their programs, make a personal donation, or volunteer your time, click here to be directed to their website.