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The adventure of growing begins: the City of Children welcomes its new beneficiaries

The start of the school year, which in Costa Rica follows the calendar year, has allowed for a very special welcome to the newly enrolled youth, who have been in their new home since Monday, January 22.

Over 130 collaborators, including teachers, monitors, psychopedagogical teams, shelter managers, and Augustinian Recollect religious, have started the 2024 school year by welcoming new students. These students come for the first time to the City of Children from all over the country.

Accompanied by their families, the process includes the submission of all the required documentation and information for the formalization of enrollment, the assignment of living spaces (quasi-family hostels for seventh and eighth-grade students and self-managed large residences for ninth grade and above), and a general presentation of the protocols and fundamental coexistence rules.

The City of Children is not a reformatory or a boarding school but a social welfare institution that offers an opportunity for comprehensive education in school, technical skills, and values. It receives many applications, but not all can be accommodated due to the adopted ratios to ensure the highest possible quality of education.

After receiving personalized attention, some families have stated the reason why they left their younger child at the City of Children on that day: "My hands are still trembling with this immense emotion, but we are very happy because we know it's the best for our child, something good, something beautiful, and something different, and this is the most suitable place for him. It took us six hours to get here from Ciudad Neily. We learned about the City of Children through the social network Facebook, and between my son and me, we made the decision, with fear because he is still a child, but it was him who said yes, he wanted it, and he would come. It is a sacrifice for me; I have five children, and he is the second, a piece of me. But let it be God's will. I am sure it is the best for him. Strength and courage to all moms because it is really tough to separate, but for all the children who come here today, it is the best."

Some testimonials:

"I am very happy and pleased to leave my son here. His uncle was a former student and is the one who encouraged us the most to enroll. We believe it is the best institution for him. He requested it himself; it is tough because we are used to seeing him, but great things always come out of difficult decisions. Professionals and better people come out of here; it is an excellent place."
"For me, the City of Children is a great opportunity because my three children have been here already, and today they are good people with jobs, they are prepared. Everything is thanks to the City of Children because I could not have enrolled them in a place where they would receive academically what they get here."
"It is an institution that supports the development of all children who want to be someone in life, have a purpose." "For me, the City of Children is hope, hope for a better future for my son."
"It is very special, I invite parents to bring their children to this City because it is a very suitable place for the education of each family and each child in need."
"We come from Liberia; we left at three in the morning because we know this institution is worth it, and we want a better future for our son, and that's why we are here."
"May God take care of and protect each one and provide them with health and prosperity; we are not far away and are attentive to everything going well, amen."

The Augustinian Recollect Eduardo Chávez pointed out on this first day of new enrollees: "We are excited to accompany these young people so they can fulfill their dreams. We welcome them; here they will find a home in every sense of the word, with love and companionship.

They will truly be accompanied from the heart, and we will help them succeed. It is the opportunity many want, and those who enter today already have it: hopefully, they take advantage of it so that this seed bears fruit. And may we be able to accompany them so that the dream can be achieved.

The Augustinians Recollect feel that this is a privileged ministry because we can accompany young people and serve them with Augustinian values." Shortly before this day, the City of Children renewed the eighth year of coordination with the educational platform Progrentis from the Mentora group, specializing its pedagogical task in reading comprehension and reasoning.

On the other hand, in these first days of the course, members of the Psychology Area have received a course on good practices and therapeutic methodology given by prosecutor Cristina Monge. To provide the best support, it is necessary to prepare every day and grow both personally and professionally.

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