PROYECTO MI HOGAR PROGRAM EVALUATION
In preparation for this program evaluation, a great deal of coordination and collaboration was necessary to make it possible. First and foremost, Dr. Vilma Caban-Vazquez would like to acknowledge all those whose support and contributions helped the chief researcher conduct a comprehensive program evaluation.
Dr. Caban-Vazquez is grateful to Joe Negron, Co-Founder and Director of Proyecto Mi Hogar (PMH), the PMH executive board members, and a team of volunteers that work tirelessly to make a worthwhile impact on the lives of so many orphans and at-risk youth across different regions of Guatemala. Furthermore, she would like to thank her friend and research assistant, Madeline Garcia, for raising her awareness on the plight of orphans in Guatemala. Dr. Caban-Vazquez is grateful that Ms. Garcia shared a media clip showcasing Proyecto Mi Hogar’s community-based service to meet the complex needs of street children and orphans in Guatemala. Ultimately, it was this initial collaboration that sparked the dispatch of the Social Changers without Borders research evaluation team. The goal was to conduct an evaluative field-site visit to review several community-based projects organized by Proyecto Mi Hogar in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
Likewise, Dr. Caban-Vazquez would like to thank the entire staff of Aldeas Infantiles SOS in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala who graciously hosted the chief researcher and her team. It was a pleasure to work alongside Joe Negron and his team of field volunteers as they coordinated various activities that helped to serve the needs of many of the children in this local orphanage. Dr. Caban-Vazquez is very grateful to Joe Negron without whom the chief researcher would not have been able to accomplish a cross-section of field observations, data collection, and a range of interviews within time-constrained field-site visit. Mr. Negron extended his field expertise and foreknowledge of the PMH organization as well as provided clarification of local, cultural, and coding communication nuances that facilitated the intricate nature of the field data collection process.
Furthermore, the lead researcher would like to extend a warm thank you to the entire Guatemala-based executive board of Proyecto Mi Hogar, Inc.— who did an excellent job collaborating and coordinating program site visits for field interviews spanning a broad sampling of research participants directly involved with PMH. On the first day, executive board members Mr. & Mrs. Jimenez and a local resident faith-based leader, Pastor Sapon, welcomed the research team’s arrival to Guatemala City with such genuine warmth and enthusiasm leaving an endearing impression on the lead researcher’s heart. The PMH Executive Board members from Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango displayed a strong willingness to assist the lead researcher and her team in any way possible to achieve a successful program evaluation. It truly demonstrated their level of personal commitment for the welfare and success of the orphans and at-risk youth they serve.
In addition, Dr. Caban-Vazquez is very grateful to have met and interviewed Proyecto Mi Hogar, Inc. Executive Board members, organizational members, and field-site volunteers such as Nancy Diaz, Estella Gramajo, Antonio Alvarez, Analicia Pineda, and Euny Sapon. The lead researcher commends this team of change agents for carving out time from their busy professional and personal schedules to meet for multiple interviews.
The evaluation trip to Guatemala would not have been a reality had it not been for the numerous supporters of Social Changers without Borders, Inc. and the NGO organization Servicespace and Awakin Call that hosted the researcher in an international podcast wherein Dr. Caban-Vazquez talked about her upcoming trip to Guatemala in support of Proyecto Mi Hogar. A special thank you to Ninpu Mehta, CEO of Servicespace for reaching out to the researcher and to his team of humanitarian change agents Afreem Malim, Amit Dungarani, and Deven P-Shah for managing the Awakin Call (Santa Clara, CA) international podcast call, as well as writing a promotional blog sharing the news about her humanitarian research. Dr. Caban-Vazquez would also like to thank the La Casa de Paz (Oakland, CA) co-founders and community advocates Pancho Ramos Stierle and Sam Bower for the spiritual and emotional support that continues to encourage this advocacy researcher.
In addition, the chief researcher would like to extend her deepest thanks and appreciation to all of her colleagues, family members, and friends who actively supported her fundraising efforts and promotional efforts through social media to support Proyecto Mi Hogar, Inc. Together they were able to participate in a raffle fundraiser winning tickets to an exclusive World Yacht cruise around the Statue of Liberty as a tribute to the street children and orphans of Guatemala.
Special thanks to Social Changers without Borders, Inc. and the Executive Board members who offered the encouragement for Dr. Caban-Vazquez to establish another research footprint in Latin America to help those less fortunate. She wishes to specifically thank her family for all of the blessings and support that she received in preparation for this research trip. Last, but certainly not the least, Vilma is grateful to have her beloved and only son Christopher ‘s support and encouragement. It makes her smile to see how he takes great pride in hearing about his mother’s different research journeys. She is very proud that her son Christopher is not only a globally conscientious geo-political student, but also a wonderful and compassionate human being that seeks to make a difference in the world.
Studies and anecdotal findings report that the issue of street children and orphans is a worldwide phenomena as well as a prevalent problem in Latin America. Empirical findings gathered by qualitative ethnographers studying this social phenomena have noted that there are mixed public views on the issue of street children and orphans. Globally there exists a very vague definition of street children, whereby there are many assumptions regarding the notion that children that are seen on the streets are homeless, abandoned, and/or orphans. Moreover, recent findings can offer heuristic analysis of the central issues related to displaced street children and orphans as well as a societal landscape of the cross-cultural themes that shape the tragic plight of this marginalized population of at risk children.
Proyecto Mi Hogar, Inc. (PMH) is an international non-profit organization working to provide the long-term care, education, and housing for orphaned and abandoned children in the country of Guatemala. Currently, this nonprofit organization offers community-based services through assistance, donations, support, and awareness to other non-profit institutions helping needy children and troubled teens in the United States and Guatemala. This report shares research findings based on a charitable/pro-bono program evaluation of Proyecto Mi Hogar that was conducted by the chief humanitarian researcher, Dr. Caban-Vazquez from Social Changers without Borders, Inc. The SCWB lead program evaluator followed a traditional qualitative methodology. The purpose of the program evaluation was to (a) examine Proyecto Mi Hogar’s organizational structure; (b) identify areas wherein PMH can further sharpen the infrastructural staff development and capacity of this grassroots organization; (c) study PMH’s current and local child protection mechanism for displaced children living in Guatemalan streets or orphanages; (d) gain insight into PMH’s community-based efforts; (e) identify key community outreach components that were effective in helping to impact the quality of life for displaced children; and (f) pinpoint integral areas and potential gaps that can be addressed and refined through the use of future staff development, technical support, and organizational capacity-building opportunities. Ultimately, lessons learned from this program evaluation can further assist PMH in refining existing program strategies and structural approaches that can attract vital and substantial international funding resources.
This program evaluation executive report offers an overview of the organization under examination and expounds on PMH’s grassroots efforts which include the (a) use of community-based outreach, (b) the administration of fundraising efforts to build a future children’s home (orphanage), and (c) the facilitation of informing Guatemalan national public policy that can greatly impact the quality of life for the highly disadvantaged and displaced Guatemalan street children and orphans. Several key terms are identified and defined to further understand the program site under evaluation. This report delineates PMH’s program goals, mission, and organizational vision that evolved as PMH grew and became more recognized in the Guatemalan community. This program evaluation examines PMH’s process of including a variety of community stakeholders.
In this report, the SCWB program evaluator offers a detailed plan of the methodology, data collection procedures, and data analysis measures used in sharing the program evaluation results. The chief researcher and the research assistant gathered extensive data from one-to-one interviews, and structured focused group interview sessions directed by an interview protocol as well as a theme literature review of a cross-section of findings on the topic. The 15 interviews, ranged from 45 minutes to 75 minutes structured interviews totally in approximately 2,000 minutes of interview data. This critical component of the data collection process helped the chief researcher triangulate and corroborate findings over an extensive review process spanning 30 weeks from pre-field-site data collection to post-site data collection. Furthermore, the SCWB program evaluator and the auxiliary data review team acquired qualitative findings from observation protocols, field notes, reflective notes, photographs, interview transcripts, electronic press releases, social media, and other forms of unstructured text data found in newspaper articles, office memorandums, formal and informal interoffice correspondence. In addition to the field site data collection from interviews, field notes, and other forms of qualitative data acquired from the US based and Guatemalan program-based locales, the field researcher and her team were invited to view, as well as to have direct assess to, various forms of accountable NGO qualitative and quantitative data that was transparently shared with PMHs’ community stakeholders and fundraising sponsors via postal correspondence, password protected network access to social media updates and postings, as well internal PDF files and formal documents submitted in password protected storage portals such as Dropbox and email. The organizational communiqué updates were delivered in various forms of social media, promotional videos, as well as recent regional and international press releases.
Findings revealed fell within several themes. The overview of the final research findings is presented in a SWOT analysis framework/matrix delineating PMH’s organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The program evaluator offers a narrative analysis of the SWOT results. The lead researcher, Dr. Caban-Vazquez, conducted several debriefing and follow-up interviews with the international NGO’s (PMH) director/co-founder of the US-based executive board and the PMH US-based vice president to present time-sensitive and pressing implications for the instantaneous application of the PMH evaluation findings for this noteworthy grassroots organization. This program evaluation report explains the implications for PMH’s immediate application of evaluation findings and how those multi-faceted efforts can help shape and inform future collaborations with other faith-based organizations, and community-based NGOs. Likewise, findings contained in this program evaluation report can help inform the potential that lies in fostering direct work with international humanitarian NGOs, local Guatemalan institutional partnerships, and future sponsors. Furthermore, this report describes potential implications for PMH’s transformational leadership and possible structural paradigms that can inform PMH’s institutional leaders to manage and steer PMH’s global mission for positive change as well as to help the leadership develop conclusions about the potential of effective and efficient organizational restructuring strategies. Some of the implications would involve (a) reducing the numbers of executive board members for effectiveness within the USA and Guatemalan based organizational and executive board, (b) re-assessing board members’ skills for cabinet positions, and (c) the introduction and invitation of new staff, board members, and ideas for improved program performance. Thoughts are shared about potential areas of study for future research pertaining to the noteworthy mission of this NGO, as well as the possibility of conducting a comparison analysis of PMH’s impact on providing quality continuum of care for displaced Guatemalan street children and orphans. Lastly, the program evaluator will identify potential areas for preliminary review of PMH’s preventive and response services within their future home facility (orphanage). Research implications exist for a structured comparative analysis of PMH’s research proven field site strategies with other international NGO’s program sites endorsed by the United Nations and other international advocacy NGOs seeking to offer family strengthening services for refugees and “Los Niños de la Frontera”—otherwise known as the influx of unaccompanied children crossing into the United States creating a humanitarian situation along the southwest U.S. border (Department of Homeland Security, 2015). Ultimately, empirical findings gathered and presented in this program review and executive report can inform the corporate actions of the PMH’s leadership team, as well as PMH’s international circle of invested stakeholders so they can make the greatest impact on affecting the lives of Guatemalan street children and orphans.
THE TENDER FACES THAT CALLED ME
Immediately upon viewing the Proyecto Mi Hogar film, Madeline and I were compelled to reach out to Mr. Negron. When we spoke to him, it was touching to witness how he humbly shared that he did not do this humanitarian work alone. Along side Joe Negrón, there are many generous hearts that make his work possible with the forgotten angels of Guatemala.
SOCIAL CHANGERS WITHOUT BORDERS
INSPIRED TO RALLY MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO HELP
June 2014: With the help of a wonderful circle of family, friends, and supporters we raised close to $1,000 to support PROYECTO MI HOGAR. Although, we had a very happy and grateful raffle winner, I kindly ask that you please visit the PROYECTO MI HOGAR website and make a donation. http://www.proyectomihogar.com
HUMANITARIAN RESEARCH PROJECT
PROGRAM EVALUATION OF PROYECTO MI HOGAR
On behalf of her advocacy organization Social Changers without Borders (SCWB) Dr. Vazquez traveled with the research team to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
The goal was to conduct a Pro-Bono program evaluation of the grassroots organization Proyecto Mi Hogar, Inc. The program expenditure of this SCWB in-kind research service can typically cost a non-profit NGO over 30,000 dollars to commission. This capacity-building tool and evaluative service can enable, offer, and vet diagnostic systems that can aid this grassroots organization in reflecting and refining their organizational mission, goals, and organizational practices. Ultimately, an in-depth program inventory can help maximize Proyecto Mi Hogar’s impact on not just the lives of Guatemalan at-risk children and orphans, but also the lives of so many children indifferently labeled in the global news media as…“Los niños de la frontera”.
Dr. Vazquez’s study and program evaluation is centered on the fundamental and socio-economic global aspects that make Proyecto Mi Hogar an exemplary grassroots organization. There are many organizations working hard to serve needy children. However, many times they function as isolated sources of relief without research proven methods or community outreach systems for creating sustainable and lasting impact in the lives of those at-risk youth. The efforts and effective practices of Proyecto Mi Hogar can serve not only as a noteworthy and replicable example for the larger global community, but this stellar and effective organization can continue to shed light on the plight of the forgotten Guatemalan street children and orphans. Moreover, this program structure assessment and refinement process can favorably position this new international NGO to effectively compete and obtain sizable grants from diverse international foundations and United Nation grant funds.
PROYECTO MI HOGAR’S COMMUNITY OUTREACH
FOR AT-RISK YOUTH
The Proyecto Mi Hogar volunteers Estella and Nancy are delivering and sizing dresses sent by a team of US volunteers that shipped them to Proyecto Mi Hogar. We are grateful to PMH volunteer Estella for bringing the plight of this particular family to Proyecto Mi Hogar’s attention.
Community site visit serving 4 widows and 26 at-risk children living in a small dwelling. Afterwards, Dr. Vazquez conducted Focus-Group interviews with children that were impacted by Proyecto Mi Hogar’s services and community outreach.
WORKING WITH THE CHILDREN IN THE ORPHANAGE
They loved the “hands-on” art project that Madeline facilitated with all the different age groups. We were fortunate to have a wonderful team of volunteers assisting. A special thanks goes to Nancy, Annie & Arturo.T
They were so happy to sit down next to me and chat.
FIELD INTERVIEWS WITH OLDER ORPHANS
IMPACTED BY PROYECTO MI HOGAR’S SERVICE
THE FUTURE LOOKS GREAT FOR PROYECTO MI HOGAR!
Standing on the recently purchased land that will house the future Proyecto Mi Hogar’s orphanage!!! A team of architects and engineers have DONATED their services to develop the blueprint for this future orphanage. NOW IS THE SEASON FOR BUILDING!!!!
President and Vice President of PROYECTO MI HOGAR, Joe Negrón and Jose L Rodriguez, met in New York City with Dr. Vazquez and research assistant Madeline Garcia from SOCIAL CHANGERS WITHOUT BORDERS to confer over preliminary findings from their research site-visit to the Guatemala-based NGO.
The year 2015 looks very promising for this organization as they position themselves as an international NGO worthy of significant grant funding.
~~~PLEASE LET’S NOT FORGET THESE ANGELS!~~~
A special thanks to my research assistant, Madeline Garcia, who helped support Miguel Pagan and his Long Island church raise close to 200 toys for the angels waiting in Guatemala.
******MY HEART CARRIES THEIR SMILES******
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PROYECTO MI HOGAR
Proyecto Mi Hogar, Inc. is a Christian non-profit organization working to provide long-term care, education, and housing for orphaned and abandoned children in the country of Guatemala. Their future home care facility will also include medical attention, counseling, home schooling, character development, social integration, and career education. They currently host family-oriented fundraising events with the goal of uniting the community, imparting family values, as well as conveying our non-profit organizations needs. They provide community service through assistance, donations, support, and awareness to other non-profit institutions helping needy children and troubled teens in the United States and Guatemala.
READ MORE ABOUT JOE NEGRON, FOUNDER… In the year 2002, Joe Negrón started counseling troubled teens by visiting prisons and county jails around the state of Florida. That same year he became a volunteer for the youth association of Assembly of Christian Churches, Inc. There he worked for seven years in which he served as Sub-Treasurer, Secretary, as well as presiding for over 500 teens within a six state region. In 2003, he started doing humanitarian and missionary work in the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and El Salvador. By the year 2004, Joe graduated with honors from the Theological Institute of Assembly of Christian Churches in Naples, Florida, where he proceeded to teach for three years. Then in 2010 he founded Proyecto Mi Hogar. In the past, Joe worked in Management for various companies, and was self-employed as a Language Interpreter. At the moment, he works as a volunteer at various orphanages both in the United States and Guatemala. His job description varies from simple things like playing sports to the life changing commitment of being a mentor/tutor.
Please visit Proyecto Mi Hogar’s website and please consider making a donation. http://www.proyectomihogar.com
ANY QUESTIONS CALL Dr. Vazquez @ (914) 563-5485